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If the actions of any family are worthy of record, those of the family 
of Douglas are in a particular manner. 






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— -^^a ^^C'lO^jj^T^T^^ * 

A here offer to the world a new Edition of the History of 
the illustrious Houses of Douglas and Angus, wrote by the 
learned Mr. David Hume of Godscroft: a history, if recom- 
mendable by the abilities of the Author, yet more so by the 
subject on which it treats: and surely if the actions of any fa- 
mily are worthy of record, those of the family of Douglas are 
in a particular manner: for what family can boast of such a 
series of great commanders, so many zealous asserters of the 
liberty and independence of their native country, and so emi- 
nently distinguished by their great actions through all Europe; 
witness the reputation they acquired in Italy and Spain, and 
the titles and preferments deservedly bestowed on them in 
France and Prussia; in which last the privileges we still en- 
joy in the city of Dantzic, as they are a lasting monument 
of their bravery, so they redound no less to the glory of the 
Scottish nation in general. 

It is indeed to be regretted, either that the Author did not 
live a century later, or that a pen equal to the task has not 
undertaken a continuation of the history down to our times; 
there are still a variety of great actions performed by persons 
of the name of Douglas, worthy of transmitting to posterity, 
which show the race have not degenerated, but are still wor- 
thy of the noble stock from which they sprung; I shall only 
give an instance of one, which I take from Mr. Burchett in 
his Naval Tracts, p. 400. « In the beginning of the year 
* 1677, a treaty of peace between England and Holland was 


* set on foot by the mediation of Sweden; in confidence of 
f the success whereof, the King forbearing to set out a fleet, 

* whilst his ministers were negociating at Breda, the Dutch, 
' with seventy sail of ships, under De Ruyter, appear- 

* ed in the Thames mouth, and sending in a squadron, pos- 

* sessed themselves of the fort at Sheerness, though bravely 
c defended by Sir Edward Spragge. The Duke of Albe- 
e marie, who was Lord General, with all expedition hastened 

* down thither with some land forces, and, to oppose the 
c enemy's progress, sunk some vessels in the entrance of the 

* Medway, and laid a strong chain across it: but the Dutch, 
« with a high tide, and a strong easterly wind, broke their way 

* through, and burnt the three ships which lay to defend the 
' chain, and going up as far as Upnore castle, burnt also the 

* Royal Oak, and having much damaged the Loyal London, 
« and the Great James, fell down the river agiin carrying off 
« with them the hull of the Royal Charles, which the English 
< had twice fired, to prevent that dishonour, but the enemy 
c as often quenched again. In this action one Captain Dou- 

* glass, who was ordered to defend one of those ships which 
« were burnt, when the enemy had set fire to it, receiving no 
« commands to retire, said, " It should never be told that a 
« " Douglas quitted his post without order," and resolutely 
« continued aboard, and burnt with the ship, falling a glori- 
« ous sacrifice to discipline and obedience to command; and an 

* example of so uncommon a bravery as, had it happened among 
« the ancient Greeks or Romans, had been transmitted down 
« to immortality with the illustrious names of Codrus, Cyna> 
« gyrus, Curtius, and the Decii.' 

Some casuists may be of opinion, that a bravery carried to 
such an excess exceeds the bounds of Christianity; but what- 
ever be in that, there is something so glorious and noble in 
it, that few will dare to condemn it: and the worst construc- 
tion it is capable of, is, that the galant gentlemen was in- 
toxicated a little too much with the glory of his name, and 
the love of his country, faults that are very rare in this de- 
generate age. ! 


It remains now that we should say something of the Author, 
of whom it is only necessary here to take notice, that he was 
a person of a genius equal to his undertaking; that he had 
great opportunities, being permitted to see the charters and 
archives of the family; and that, as he was a man of learning 
and sagacity, he has made the best use of these advantages: he 
has also been well versed in the history of Scotland, on which 
he makes a great many just and judicious remarks; and really 
if the Author has any fault, it is in the number and prolixity 
of his reflections; but that ought not so much to be imputed to 
him, as to the humour of the times in which he wrote; and 
even these are made in such a manly way, so full of strong 
substantial sense, and so mixed with ancient Scottish phrases 
and proverbs, that as they are generally solid and instructive, 
so they will be to many no less entertaining. 

It is indeed a loss to the public that the Author did not live 
to revise his work from the press; and the Editor of the first 
Edition, who has been a man nowise qualified for that busi- 
ness, has committed innumerable mistakes, chiefly by his en- 
deavouring, in many places, to turn the Scottish phrases of 
our author, which he very ill understood, into the English of 
the times wherein he lived. He has likewise been very neg- 
ligent in the spelling of the proper names of persons and 
places, many of which, if it had not been for the Author's 
original manuscript, frequently, I confess, not very legible, 
and the assistance of other historians, I should never have 
been able to have rectified. I have also taken upon me 
to alter some old obsolete expressions; but in this I have act- 
ed very sparingly. 

L. HUNTER, Publisher. 
Edinburgh, 1743. 


Of the Douglases in general; that is, l.^Of their 
Antiquity, to which is joined their Original; 2. Nobil- 
ity and Descent; 3. Greatness; and 4. Valour of the 
Family and Name of Douglas. 

X think it will not be amiss to place here before the door, 
as it were, and entry into this discourse and treatise, (like a 
si^n or ivy-bush before an inn) an old verse, which is com- 
mon in men's mouths: 

So many, so good, as of the Douglases have been, 
Of one sirname were ne'er in Scotland seen. 

This saying being ancient, and generally received, will serve 
to invite the curious and candid reader, and, like a charm, 
will fright away malignant spirits and detractors, who labour 
to lessen and extenuate what they cannot deny. Neither is 
this a public fame only rovingly scattered, and soon vanishing, 
but such as hath continued from age to age, and which is 
authorized and confirmed by all writers, and which is most 
of all true in itself, as shall appear by this discourse, and no- 
thing immodest or immoderate. For if we consider these 
two together jointly, ' so many and so good/ that is their 
number and their worth, we shall find none that can match 
them in either of these. There may be found of other names 
some as good, but not so many. And again though there be 
as many, yet they are not so good. This truth I have not 
heard impugned, but it hath hitherto been embraced without 
all contradiction, even of calumny itself, I know not if with- 
out envy. But let that monster eat her own heart, and tear 

PRBI^lCE. Vll 

her own bowels; and that she may do so yet more, we will 
give her further occasion to do it, by enlarging the compari- 
son thus: * so many, so good, &c of subjects race, were never 
in Europe seen:' and yet further, * in the world were never 
seen.' This is not any rhetorical amplification, or poetical 
hyperbole, but a positive and measured truth. If any, after 
he hath read and pondered their actions, and paralleled them 
with those whose names any history hath transmitted to the 
knowledge of posterity: if any man, I say, shall find, after due 
search and equal judgement, either in this our country, or in 
this our island of Britain, or in this fourth part of the world, 
Europe; or throughout the whole universe, such valour to have 
continued in any one house or name, that were subjects, and 
not kings or princes, and to have been so hereditary to all of 
them, and, as if it had been entailed, descending by succession 
from father to son, and from brother to brother, the successor 
still striving to outdo his predecessor, in that height of excel- 
lency, and for so many generations; then let this saying be sus- 
pected as partial, or branded as an untruth; otherwise be con- 
tented to bear witness to the truth, or at least give others leave 
to do it; and receive thou it as such, without murmuring or im- 
patience. Now as they have surpassed all other names, so if we 
compare them among themselves, it will prove a hard and 
difficult judgement to determine who deserves the prize, and 
hath been most excellent. There hath been twenty persons 
and more, who have possessed the chief houses and principal 
families of Douglas and Angus, from William, to go no higher, 
who died in Berwick a prisoner, besides those worthy branches, 
the Lord of Nithisdale, Liddisdale, Galloway, Ormond, Mur- 
ray, Balveny, Dalkieth, &c. there is none almost whose life 
and the times afforded occasion of action, but hath made him- 
self singularly conspicuous by some notable exploit or other, 
as is to be seen in their several lives. For the present we 
will only take a general view of them in gross, according to 
these heads; 1. Antiquity, which includes their original; 2. No- 
bility; 3. Greatness; 4. Valour. And, first, we will consider 
them without any comparison in themselves simply and ab- 


solutely; then we will compare them with others, both within 
and without the country; and so I hope the truth of our as- 
sertion shall appear clear and evident unto the eyes or all those 
that will not obstinately shut their eyes against so bright shin- 
ing a light. 

To begin then with their antiquity and original, so far as 
we can learn and find either in history or monument, by do- 
cument or tradition, which we will set down here in order of 
time, as we have gathered and collected them. 1. We have 
that tradition which is most ancient of all others, in the 
days of Solvathius King of Scotland, in the year 767, when 
Donald Bane usurped the title of King, and had in a battle 
almost defeated the King's army, a certain nobleman, called 
afterward Sholto Douglas, came into their succour, and over- 
threw the said Donald, whom he slew in the field, and scat- 
tered his army, as is set down at length in his life. 2. The 
second witness of their antiquity and original is brought from 
beyond sea, out of Italy, in the family of the Scoti of Plais- 
ance, which is proved to have sprung from the Douglases at 
large in the life of William IV. The time is in the days of 
Charlemaign, in the year 779, or, as our writers, 800 or 80,1, 
in the reign of AchaiusKing of Scotland, 3. Our third wit- 
ness is a public monument out of a monastery, (which were 
the registers of those times) the monastery of Icolmkill, 
which tell that Malcolm Kenmore, at the parliament of Forfar, 
in the year 1057, or 1061, did not advance to. that dignity, 
for they had the equivalent of it before, but adorned with, 
the new stile of Lord, some of the name or Douglas; which 
stile was then first brought into this country, hy imitation of 
other nations. 4. Our fourth witness is in the year 1 133, the 
foundation of the abbey of Leshmahago confirmed by King 
David, wherein it is expressly bounded by the barony of 
Douglasdale: now seeing this is but a confirmation, thedonation 
must have gone before in some other King's days. 5. The 
fifth witness is in the days of King William, nephew to this 
jDavid, who began his reign in the year 1 163. He erected the 
town of Ayr into a free burgh royal, and, amongst the wit- 



nesses of their charter are Alexander and William Douglas- 
es. 6. The sixth is a mortmain and donation granted to the 
bishop of Murray, where the same names are inserted (Wil- 
liam and Alexander Douglases) for witnesses. It is not cer- 
tain whether these be the same that were witnesses in the 
former charter of Ayr, but it is likeliest they were the same* 
In what year of King Jp^illiam's reign this was, we have not 
yet learned; but he reigned till the year 12 14. 7. The 
seventh is, the indenture made between William Lord Dou- 
glas, and Hugh Lord Abernethy, in the days of Alexander 
III. 1259, some forty-five years after this last King William; 
the particulars of this indenture are set down in the life of the 
said William. 8. Eightly, we have also, though much later, 
in the days of King Robert Bruce, and good Sir James Dou- 
glas, mention made of two Douglases, besides Sir James, one 
James Douglas of Lowdon, and Andrew Douglas of the pub- 
lic rolls, (three rolls marked I. 16.) King Robert gives to 
James of Lowdon a confirmation of the lands of Caldercleer, 
Kinnaul, and Carnwath: to Andrew Douglas he gives Corse- 
well, which was fallen into his hands by the forfeiture of the 
Earl of Winton or Wigton. Now what these two were, and 
whether or not they were in kin to the Lords of Douglas we 
know not; only I have heard it reported that the lands of 
Lowdon were gotten from the Lords of Douglas; and Calder- 
cleer is known to have been given off from their estata. Now 
howbeit these two be not very ancient, yet it may be gather- 
ed that the name of Douglas was ancient, even then being 
propagated into so many branches, which could not have been 
done of a sudden, but in process of time: These things do 
confute those authors, who reckon the original of the Dou- 
glases from good Sir James, or at the most from his father 
William; because our writers, Major, Boethius, and Buchanan 
name none before them. But they, intending and minding 
more the general history of the country, than the descent or 
beginning of particular houses, may perhaps be excused here- 
in; yet it doth not follow that there were none before, be- 
cause they have past them in silence. And so much shall 



suffice to have spokeh of their antiquity and original, as fai* 
as we know; I say expressly as far as we know: for certainly 
we do not know them fully. We do not know them in the 
fountain, but in the stream; not in the root, but in the stock 
and stem; for we know not who was the first mean man that 
did by his virtue raise himself above the vulgar to such emi- 
* nent place and state, as our Sholto behoved to have been of 
before he wan the battle, and got the name of Douglas, 
which hath drowned his former name; for none but some 
great man, of great friendship and dependence, could have 
been able to have overcome this Donald Bane, (being al- 
ready victor) and changed the fortune of the day: and 
William indeed was created a Lord at Forfar, but we hear 
not that he was raised from a mean estate, or enriched by the 
King's liberality; wherefore we may justly think he had the 
same place in effect before, but under some other name, as 
of Thane, Abthane, or some such title. 

The next point we propound to speak of, is their nobility. 
There is great contest among men who should be most noble; 
but where will true nobility be found so entire? In what sub- 
ject's race is it so full and perfect, according to all the accep- 
tations and significations thereof? They define it to be a lift- 
ing or raising up above the vulgar: and what name, I pray, 
hath been so elevated, and hath so transcended all other, 
as this of the Douglases? They add this condition, that 
it be for true worth; and hath there been any so worthy? 
Those that will distinguish it into several kinds, make five 
sorts of it; 1. nobility of virtue; 2. of degrees; 3. of offices 
and employment; 4. of birth and descent; 5. and lastly, of 
fame and renown. 

1. Of all these the first is the ground, without which the 
rest are never well built, and are but shadows without the 
substance. Virtus nobilitat, virtue doth enoble, is a saying 
which is no less true than ancient; for it makes him in whom 
it doth reside truly noble by its own power, beyond all ex- 
ception. It hath not the dependance on King's or Princes to 
give or take it away: it is ever the same, whether exalted or 


not exalted, regarded or neglected, respected or disrespected. 
Nay, it doth ever carry along with it such respect and regard, 
as no baseness of place, of birth, of means or employment, 
can stain or lessen; making lowness itself to overtop whatso- 
ever is highest in the eyes of the world. It adds honour to 
whatsoever place, majesty to whatsoever estate, sufficiency 
to whatsoever means, splendour to whatsoever obscurity; 
which no contempt of tongues, no detracting speeches, no 
disesteem of presuming pride, is able to impair or darken. 
Where honour and virtue do meet, there honour is an exter- 
nal addition and confirmation of the inward testimony in the 
mind of the virtuous: but where virtue is wanting, outward 
honours are are but false ensigns, lying inscriptions of empty 
boxes. That this name was virtuously noble, and nobly vir- 
tuous, the deduction of their lives will sufficiently show. 

2. As for the second, nobility of degrees, of dignities and 
titles given by Kings and Princes; such as are these of Knights, 
Barons, Lords, Earls, Dukes, &c. all these they had confer- 
red upon them both at home and in foreign countries. This 
kind of nobility is in account amongst men; because although 
oftentimes it proceeds merely from the Prince's favour, upon 
small or no desert, yet it is supposed to be grounded upon vir- 
tue, or that it should always be grounded thereon. Now in the 
Douglases it was ever so, for they were never greater than 
they deserved: and whatever titles of honour they had, were 
rather thrust upon them, than ambitiously sought and hunted 
after: nay we read of Grim Archibald, that he rejected and 
refused the title of Duke. 

The third sort is very like and near unto this, if it be not 
a part of it, consisting in public offices and employments either 
in peace or war, such as to be wardens of the marches, lieu- 
tenants, governors, leaders and conductors of armies: this 
was almost proper, and in a mann?r hereditary to the house, 
in which places also they so behaved themselves, that for their 
good services done to the King and country, their family and 
posterity do enjoy at this hour many privileges and immuni- 
ties granted to them in their charters, such as, 1. Regalities, 


and exemptions thereby. 2. The first place and vote in Par- 
liament, council, or meeting, and convention of the states. 
3. The leading of the van-guard in the day of battle. 4-. And 
bearing of the crown at riding in parliament. 

4. The fourth is nobility of blood and descent. This some 
do place only in the descent of the right line masculine with- 
out interruption, and esteem him most noble, whose extrac- 
tion proceedeth from most of this kind. Others again will 
have it to be on both sides; and certainly it seems to stand 
with reason that both should be regarded, seeing every ground 
is not fit for noble seed, and every stock will not serve to in- 
graft a generous imp. However, we shall find the Douglas- 
es noble also in this way, in their descent on both sides, in 
their affinity and alliance, being come of Kings, and Kings of 
them. And first of all King Robert Bruce, and William the 
Hardy, or Long-leg, were of kin by the house of Carrick; for 
Martha, Countess of Carrick and this William were cousins- 
german, his mother having been sister to her father the Earl 
of Carrick, that died in Syria. Now Martha was mother to 
King Robert, and hereby King Robert and good Sir James 
were cousins- german once removed. But this was ere Bruce 
was King, while he was yet but a private man. 2. Secondly 
therefore, Robert Stewart (the first of the Stewarts that was 
King, and who was grandchild to Robert Bruce) gave his 
eldest daughter in marriage to Earl James slain at Otterburn. 
3. The same King Robert gave another of his daughters to 
William, Lord of Nithisdale. 4. The Duke of Rothsay, 
Prince of Scotland, son to King Robert III. married Marjory 
daughter to Archibald the Grim. 5. Archibald the third of 
that name, and first Duke of Touraine, had to wife Margaret 
Stewart, daughter to the same King Robert III. as the Black 
Book of Scoon expressly witnesseth, which calls him Gener 
Regis, the King's son-in-law. Ballanden, the translator of 
Boethius, calls him the King's maich, or ally; and King 
James II. claimeth Stewarton from James the last Earl of 
Douglas, in the conditions of peace sent to him. Now Stew- 
arton is known to have been the proper inheritance of John 


Stewart, and after him of Walter, then of Robert, the first 
King of the Stewarts, and so of Robert III. which in all like- 
lihood he hath given with his daughter, as her dowry, to this 
Archibald. 6. Also John Earl of Buchan, the King's brother's 
son, married a daughter of this Archibald, whom he hath had 
apparently by some other wife. 7. Then Alexander, son to 
the Earl of Buchan, married Isabel Douglas, countess of Mar, 
daughter to William the first Earl of Douglas. 8. William 
the first Earl married Margaret Stewart, daughter to Thomas 
Earl of Angus, who was uncle to King Robert II. and first 
King of the Stewarts. 9. George Douglas, son to the same 
William, who was the first Earl of Angus of the name of 
Douglas, married Mary Stewart, daughter to King Robert 
III. and sister to King James I. 10. James Douglas, Lord of 
Dalkeith, married a daughter of King James II. 11. Archi- 
bald, brother to William the eighth Earl of Douglas, married 
the inheretrix of Murray, who was niece to King Robert II. 
and so became Earl of Murray. 12. Archibald Earl of An- 
gus, the second of that name, married Margaret Queen of 
Scotland, relict of King James IV. and eldest daughter to 
King Henry VII. sister to King Henry VIII. of England, and 
mother to King James V. of Scotland-, by her he had Lady 
Margaret Douglas. 1 3. Lady Margaret Douglas, his daughter, 
was married to Matthew Stewart Earl of Lennox, who was 
also of the blood royal. 14. Henry Stewart Lord Darnlv* 
son to Lennox and Lady Margaret, married Mary Queen of 
Scotland, only daughter and heir to King James V. She bare 
to him James VI. of Scotland, and now happily the first King 
of Great Britain, France, and Ireland. And so much for no- 
bility in blood and alliance. 

5. The fifth and last kind of nobility is that of fame and 
renown. Those that take upon them to derive and deduce 
the pedigree and etymology of words, do think that this sig- 
nification is most proper, as being chiefly implied in the word 
nobilis, quasi notabilis; so that those are said to be most no- 
ble, who are least obscure, who are most eminent and conspi- 
cuous in the eyes of the world, and most praised and blazed 


by fame in their own and foreign countries. This kind oi 
nobility hath ever accompanied their virtue, as a shadow fol- 
lows the body, and that both at home and abroad. And so 
we have done with their nobility, which is the second point 
we propounded to be treated of. 

The third main head to be considered, is their greatness; 
concerning which in general our chronicles do witness, that 
those of the name of Douglas, together with their friends, 
vassals and dependers, were able to make an army of thirty 
thousand, or forty thousand men. 

This also doth argue their greatness, that it was thought an 
honour and credit to have dependence on them. Histories 
do testify that the Hamiltons and Flemings, thought it no dis- 
paragement to follow them. Humes were their pensioners 
and vassals, even the chief houses of them. This is verihed 
by a bond of a thousand nobles (a great sum in those days) 
made by Archibald Earl of Wigton and Longueville, who was 
after his father's death Earl of Douglas, to Alexander Hume 
of Hume, dated at Bothwell, 1423. The same Eari also (for 
his father was Duke of Touraine) gave the lands of Wedder- 
burn to David Hume, brother to the said Alexander, propter 
nudtiplicia sua servitia, for his many good services. This 
charter of Wedderburn is anterior to the gift of Alexander's 
pension some eight or nine years, being dated in the year 
14 14. The Lawders of Bass, and Logans of Restalrig, were 
their messengers into France and other parts. Gray, Salton, 
Seton, Oliphant were their followers also. Neither could 
any man of ordinary pitch of power, have brought such aid to 
a foreign prince, as this same Earl of Wigton transported 
over into France, five thousand, or as some say, ten thousand, 
which he levied and carried over at his own proper cost, all 
brave and choice gentlemen. If for this he was rewarded 
with the dutchy of Touraine, it was but the just recompence 
of his service, and no more than he deserved, and wouid 
but countervail his charges. Wherefore I wonder with what 
indifferent judgement Pu Serres, author of the French In- 
\ t-ntary, doth grudge at it, and can call it mercenary. Cer- 


tainly the Kings of France have thought it their due, or else 
they would not have continued it so long, for five or six gen- 
erations, that is, until the Earls of Douglas were forfeited. 
Few subjects of foreign princes have been so much respected, 
and so rewarded. It is also an evidence of their power and 
greatness, that Henry VI. of England did contract and cove- 
nant with George the second Earl of Angus, for his aid and 
assistance against Edward IV. and made an indenture, where- 
in he promises to give lands erected into a dutchy, lying be- 
twixt Humber and Trent. Edward IV. made James the last 
Earl of Douglas Knight of the Garter, even when he was ba- 
nished, so much did he honour and respect his name and vir- 
tue* So Henry II. of France made Archibald the second Earl 
of Angus, one of the order of St. Michael or the Cockle. 
Their magnificence and stately entertainment, and courage at 
home and abroad, doth likewise show their greatness. "Wil- 
liam the fourth of that name, and sixth Earl, being but a very 
young man, not above fourteen or fifteen years of age, had 
for his ordinary train a thousand horse; he dubbed knights, 
had his counsellors and officers of state like a prince: and 
William the fifth was admired for his train and magnificence, 
as he passed through Flanders, France, and Italy, in his jour- 
ney to Rome. Our writers indeed blame him for it, and call 
it pride, ambition, and ostentation in him: but however that 
be, it is an evident proof of greatness. 

The last and main point that we are to treat of is, their 
valour. Let their deeds and actions speak for this property: 
but to take a general view of it; the common epithet in the 
mouths of the common people hath appropriate unto them 
this virtue, who never speak of them, but with the addition 
of doughty, the doughty Douglas. And from hence indeed 
chiefly their greatness and honours did spring; and we shall 
find none of them but were both skilful commanders, and 
stout soldiers, being no less endued with personal valour, 
than discretion and judgement to direct and conduct. That 
brave matchless Roman, Scipio Africanus, when he was taxed 
for not hazarding his person, and fighting with his own hand, 


thought it enough to answer, imperatorem mater me peperit, 
non bellolorem> my mother bare me a commander, not a 
fighter; but our Douglases were both maximi imperatores, 
nee minus strenui bellatores, wise commanders, and hardy 
fighters and warriors; they had both good heads and good 
hearts and hands. In the beginning, ere Rome came to its 
greatness, it is said of the first captains, decorum erat turn 
ipsis ducibus capescere pug?iam i that it was no disparagement, 
but honourable for the leaders themselves to fight with their 
own hand; none were more ready and forward to fight than 
the Douglases, only Wallace is thought to have gone beyond 
any of them. But he is but one, and that singular and extra- 
ordinary, without any second, at least of his own name; and 
our comparison stands between name and name, where the 
number is as well to be remembered as the worth. So many 
so valorous of one sirname, is that which we have undertaken 
to prove. Besides, none of the Douglases did ever encount- 
er with Wallace, to try who was the better man; and if we 
parallel their actions done apart, what act of Wallace can be 
produced more admirable than that of Archibald Tineman, 
at the battle of Shrewsbury, where, with his own hand he 
slew Blunt, the King of England's standard-bearer, and three 
more, who were apparelled like Kings, and at last unhorsed 
the King himself, whom he had also slain, if he had not been 
rescued by his Son Henry V. In an English manuscript, 
I have seen it thus expressed. 

4 And there with fiery courage he assails 

* Three all, as Kings, adorned in royal ways, 
' And each sucessiye after other quails, 

4 Still wond'ring whence so many Kings did rise: 

* Till <Pubting, lest his hands or eye-sight fails, 
' With these confounded, on the fourth he flies, 

* And him unhorses too, whom had he sped, 
' He then all Kings in him had vanquished. 

* For Henry had divided as it were 

* The person of himself into four parts, 

' To be less known, and yet known every where, &c. 


It is written also of "William Lord of Nithisdale, that he 
was both exceeding stout and strong, beyond any that lived 
in his days; so that whomsoever he struck but once, with 
mace, sword or spear, he needed never to double his stroke, 
every blow carried death with it. Also James, slain at Otter- 
burn, his personal valour and strength is very highly extolled 
by the writers of these times, who besides that he had the 
better of Percy in their duel at Newcastle, he himself was the 
chief cause of the victory that got the honour of the day at 
Otterburn, where he lost himself, but won the field by his 
own personal valour. They tell how he fought with a huge 
iron mace, that was heavier than any ordinary man of those 
days could wield, and more than two or three of such as now 
live; Qualia nunc hominum producit corpora tellus. We 
might add unto these Archibald Bell-the-cat, (Earl of Angus) 
who in a duel with Spence cut off his thigh, through bone 
and all, at a blow; and divers others, as Archibald of Kilspin- 
dy, whom King James V. called always his gray steel, for his 
valour and ability of body. But these shall suffice here for 
a taste of their valour. 

But we will not content ourselves with a general and abso- 
lute commendation; we will also descend to the comparative, 
which we desire may be as far from envy, as we hope it shall 
be found near to truth. To begin then first at home, there 
is no subject's race in this country that can match them in 
these of which we have spoken, antiquity, nobility, greatness, 
and valour or worth; in these, I say, jointly: that is, there is 
none so ancient, and withal so noble, great and valorcus. 
No name is, or ever was in this country, of which there can 
be reckoned so many and so worthy; for so stands our com- 
parison. '{The Grahams are very ancient, (in the days of 
Fergus II. anno 424.) and very noble, but have never at- 
tained to that degree of greatness as the Douglases have done. 
The Hays also are a very old and honourable name, (in the 
reign of Kenneth III. anno 976.) but not so ancient as our 
Douglases by 200 years; for they began m the reign of Sol- 
vathius, anno 797. These two, Hays and Douglases, do a- \ 

xviii PREFACE. 

gree in this, that they are, as the Grahams also are, natural 
Scots bornt but there is great odds between them otherwises 
for the Hays have not reached to that pitch of greatness, 
either in degree or estimation, and account of men by many 
stages, as the Douglases have attained. Other names which 
now are great, are nothing so ancient, and besides are come 
from other countries; such as, Hamiltons, Gordons, Campbells: 
the Campbells from France, and the other two out of Eng- 
and. The Hamiltons came in King Robert Bruce's time, 
the Gordons in Malcolm Kenmore's. The Murrays are more 
ancient, and before all these, yet they are strangers, and not 
of the first blood of the Scots; and there was but one of them 
great and remarkable, who was governor of Scotland; few or 
none nobilitated, till of late. But none of all these names 
comes near that number of nobles and worthies by lineal or 
lateral descent, and as it were of hereditary virtuous succession 
and race of men, which we find of the Douglases. There 
have been some great and worthy of other names, but if they 
enter into comparison, they will be found, rari nantes in 
gurgite vasto, but few, one or two eminent of a name, or of 
the chief house: it will also appear that their honours, most of 
them, have flowed more from their Prince's favour, than 
their own great deserving, or great service against the ene- 
my. The Cummings were the most numerous and powerful 
of any that ever were in Scotland before or since, as some 
of our writers say; yet their greatness hath rather been in 
lands and possesions, or friends, than in deeds of arms, and 
prowess of chevalry, having done little or nothing of note 
and worthy of renown. John Cumming indeed fought three 
battles at Roslin in one day against the English, in which we 
find nothing reported of his personal valour; whereas the 
Douglases did ever shew themselves in person to be singular- 
ly valorous: besides, he was but one man, the rest are buried 
in silence: and there is nothing to be found of them all,' 
though all their actions were put together, that deserves to 
be compared with the deeds of any one man amongst many 
of the Douglases. Moreover, as there was no great action 


in them, they were scarce good patriots, using their power to 
the disadvantage of their country, and the opposing of the 
liberties thereof, in King Robert Bruce's days, rather than 
for the good and standing of the kingdom, which the Doug- 
lases did ever. We find also that they were not careful to 
keep their promises, and thought the breach of their words 
and faith (so it were for their advantage) a point of good 
wisdom and policy; a foul and base quality, and which is 
ever incident to mean and base spirits, being directly opposite 
to true generosity and magnanimity, which is the fountain 
and well-spring of upright dealing and truth in word and 
action, which were ever found in our noble Douglases. 

For other countries, to begin with our nearest neighbours of 
England, the most renowned name for deeds of arms amongst 
them, is that of the Percies of Northumberland, between 
whom and the Douglases there hath ever been ever a noble 
and generous emulation with various success, but for the 
most part to the Douglases advantage; so that we may say* 
conteudisse decorum of the Percies: but they come far short 
of that number of worthies that we have in ours. Besides, 
the Percies have not been so loyal subjects, having often tak- 
en arms against their lawful princes, and being guilty of div- 
ers rebellions, plots, conspiracies; according to which Sir 
Josseline Percy said merrily of the powder treason, that it 
had not been a right treason, unless a Percy had. had a. hand 
in it. 

But to go higher, even to the mistress and empress of the 
world, Rome itself: the Fabii and Cornelii were the most 
numerous families, and out of these two houses proceeded 
more commanders, and brave captains, than out of any that 
I have read, or can remember of amongst them. Now the 
first mention that we have of them is where they are ooth 
named, in the year 2b7, from the building of Rome, twenty 
ye^r* after the bani hing of their King T^rquiniusj at which 
tin e Q intus Fabius and Servius Cornelius were consuls tO-« 
gec/vi : f om that time tdl Quintu Fabius, consul in the year 
1i% tor the space of 437 years, we find of ihe Fabii about 


some twenty-four persons that were consuls, tribunes, decern • 
viri, dictators, generals, and leaders of armies; but for their 
valour or prowess, personal courage, or proper worth, the 
three first are only famous, Quintus Fabius, Marcus Fabius, 
and Creso Fabius. These three being brothers, and Marcus 
Fabius being consul, fought against the Hetrusci in the year 
269, and Quintus Fabius being slain, Marcus and Cseso hav- 
ing encouraged the army that was discouraged by the death 
of their brother Quintus, leaping over the dead corpse of their 
brother, assaulted the enemy in their own persons, and by 
their valour and example, staid their men from flying, restor- 
ed the battle, and at last obtained the victory. We read al- 
so of one Ambustus Fabius, whose three sons were sent in an 
ambassage to the Gauls to request them not to trouble the 
Clusinii, in the years 363 and 364. These three when they 
could not prevail, nor persuade them to desist from invading 
the Clusinii, did join with the Clusinii against the Gauls, in 
which conflict Quintus Fabius, one of Ambustus's three sons, 
slew with his own hands, in sight of both armies; the captain 
of the Gauls, and carried away his spoil: but he quickly 
stained that honour, he and his two brothers, by their mis- 
government at the battle of Allia against the same Gauls, 
where they fled shamefully without striking a stroke, and by 
their misguiding gave occasion to the sacking of Rome. The 
last is Fabius to the dictator, who fought against Hannibal, 
famous for his conduct, but not so for any personal valour, so 
the Cornelii, from the same 267 until 734, when Publius 
Scipio was consul 736, when Lentulus was reckoning both 
these Cornelians with the house of African the younger, (a 
Cornelian by adoption, but an Emiiian born) they are about 
three and thirty persons in these 167 years, who were in great 
place, consuls, dictators and the like, as the Fabii. Some of 
them were also famous for their conduct in war, having been 
brave leaders and generals of armies, as the two Africans, 
their brother Lucius, their father and their uncle Publius 
and Cnieus: but for personal valour there are not many emin- 
ent; only Aulus Cornelius, Cossus, who slew Tolumnius King 


of the Veiens; and African I. (if it were he) who rescued 
his father at the battle of Tesin, are remarked for their per., 
sonal valour. Now, neither of these two families doth equal 
the Douglases; who in fewer years, viz. from the 1309 until 
15S8, about 300 years, brought forth twenty-seven persons, 
all singular for their valour, and some of them far beyond any 
of these, as may be seen. This advantage these Romans had, 
that living in the continent of Italy, and in a common-wealth 
which did so flourish, and was so great, their actions and deeds 
were more conspicuous, being acted in a more large and am- 
ple Theatre, than those of our men, . who were pent up in a 
narrow and obscure corner of an Island, and had neither the 
Carthaginians nor Hannibal to fight against, whose overthrow 
would have given a greater splendour to their actions. And 
moreover they have had good heralds to sound their praise, 
aloud, and trumpet them abroad in the world; when as ours, 
omnes occiderunt illacrimabiles, carucre quia vate sacros. 
And yet even by this which we have been able to collect 
of them, our proposition will appear to be sufficiently 
proved: with which, as we began, so will we conclude, so 
many good, &c. in the world were never seen of one name 
and family. 

Touching which assertion, 1 will earnestly entreat this fav- 
our of the courteous reader, that he would be pleased to con- 
sider what hath been said in an even balance and indifferent 
judgement, setting aside all prejudice and preconceived opin- 
ion of any worth in any nation ; and if he do not approve of 
our conclusion, and assent to do it, let him calmly and mod- 
estly impart his reasons, and he shall find me one that shall 
be most willing and ready to retract what hath been said, and 
to give place to the truth, if I be not able to satisfy him in 
reason. For my own part, I protest, I speak as I think, and 
no more than I think; according to my reading and know- 
ledge of men, and according to the measure of my judgement 
and undertsanding, without prejudice of any, who upon more 
knowledge, and out of better judgement, shall find things to 
be otherwise than I have thought. In the mean time we will, 
set down here what we have said of them elsewhere, speaking 


to king James, at his return into Scotland out of England, in 
the year 1617. 

Atque hocc inter tot diadcmata celsa, corollam 
Annumcrare tuis titulisjas ducis; et unam 
Privatum (verum magnis a regibus ortam, 
Regibus affinem magnis, regumque gerentem 
Scepe vicem, bellique domique; et quod satis unum, est t 
Gignentem celsum generoso semine regent; 
Regem, quo tellus majorem non videt: unus 
Qui lerna imperii tractas screpta alma, Britanni) 
Duglasiam, Angusiamque domum, virtute secundam \ 
Haud ulli quas prisca aut Roma, aut Grceciajactaf, 
Seu numero heroum, seu rohore mentis et armis, 
Sive fide in patriam. Sceptrerum ut millia sceptris. 
Accumulesque tuis, numeresque in stemmate reges 
JLatus quotcunque orbis habit; non ultima laics h<BC% 
Duglasiis etiam duxisse heroibus ortum, 

In English thus: 

And thou bast thought it not unfit to set 
Amongst thy many crowns this coronet: 
A private family, and yet they be 
Derived from Kings; and often did supply 
The place of absent Kings in war and peace, 
A nd what may be esteem'd a greater grace. 
That from their loins thy royal self did spring: 
Thy self! than whom earth sees no greater King, 
You Britain's threefold sceptre justly wield, 
Douglas nor Angus will to no house yield; 
Not the most fam'd of Greece, or ancient Rome, 
For numbers of brave men: Nor are o'ercome 
In strength of mind, or arms, or faithful love 
To their dear country. Should your state improve, 
And you enjoy a thousand scepters more, 
And draw your stock from all the numerous store 
Of Kings; the whole world holds it would not b& 
Thy least praise, that a Douglas lives in tbee A 




*»eoo ei <S5>[0«ttc« 

JDf tie $>ou#e of Douglas 

F Sholto Douglas, the first that bare the name of Dou- 
glas, and of whom all that bear that name are descend- 
ed, ---------------- ! 

Of Hugh Douglas, son to Sholto, and first of the name 
of Hugh, --------------O 

Of his Son Hugh the second, --------6 

William, father of the Scoti in Italy, - * - - - - 7 

William, the first Lord, created at the Parliament of For- 
far, 1* 

John, the second Lord, ----------15 

William, the third Lord, ----------15 

Archibald, the fourth Lord, ------- - - 16 

William, maker of the indenture with the Lord Aberneth y, 1 6 
Hugh, whom his foes never found sleeping, - - - -21 

William the Hardy, - ---------- 2i 

Good Sir James, slain in Spain, ------ - - 2S 

Hugh the ninth Lord, ----------77 

Archibald Lord of Galloway, slain at'Halidon, * - - 77 
William Lord of Liddisdale, the Flower of Chevalry, - 90 
William the first Earl, ----------116 

James, slain at Otterburn, ---------137 

William Lord of Nithisdale, 160 


Archibald the Grim, -.----. - - - - 165 

Archibald Tine-man, -----------170 

Archibald Earl of Wigton, - ♦ -------197 

William, slain in Edinburgh Castle, 224, 

James the Gross, ------------ 233 

William, slain in Stirling, --------- 237 

James, put into Lindores, .-„-.---- 388 







Of Siiolto Douglas the First that bore the Name of 
Douglas, and of whom all that bear that Name are 

X OUCHING the original of this illustrious family and name 
of Douglas, we must not look for an exact and infallible de- 
monstration; things of this nature are not capable of it. Great 
antiquity is commonly accompanied with much uncertainty* 
and the originals even of cities, countries and nations, are 
grounded, for the most part upon no surer foundation than 
conjectural proofs, whose beginnings are more easily known, 
and better remembered than those of private families. In 
such cases we use to take that for truth which comes nearest: 
to it amongst divers narrations; and must rest on that which 
is most probable and apparent, Qiiis rem tarn veterem pro cer- 
to affirmet? (Liv. lib. 7. de lacu Curtio.) Says the historian 
in a matter not uulike. And we will say with the same author, 
Cura nondccsset, si qua ad verum via inquir entem ferret \i nunc 
fames standum csl, ubi certam derogat vetv.stasfdcm. The 



beginning of our nation, yea of both nations, Scots and Eng- 
lish, such as they now are, or of those that were before, Picts 
and Britons, is not yet sufficiently cleared; neither is it as yet 
fully known from what people they are sprung, or how they 
got their name of Scots, English, Picts and Britons, although 
the learned have bestowed their pains, and employed their pens 
on this subject, to the wearying, but not satisfying of the read- 
er. As for Scotland, Mr. Cambden grants so much, and 
mocks those that have laboured in it: yet hath he himself be- 
stowed his time and pains to as small purpose in behalf of his 
countrymen the Britons: neither hath he done any thing, save 
that by his fruitless attempt, (notwithstanding all his bragging) 
he hath made it appear, that to go about it is but to labour in 
vain; he himself, after all his travel, remaining no less scep- 
tic; and, to use his own words, Scotizing, than others. And 
even Rome itself, the mistress of the world, though the noon- 
tide of her empire be clear and bright, like the sun in her 
strength, yet how misty is the morning and dawning thereof. 
Darkness triumphs over the reigns and triumphs of her first 
kings; which are covered over with such uncertain obscurity, 
or rather drowned in so profound and deep night of darkness, 
that all her children, though they have beaten their brains, 
and spent much lamp-oil in searching of it, could never clear 
their mother's nrtivity,or vindicatetheir father Romulus's birth 
from the fable of the incestuous vestal, nor his nursing from 
being beholden to a she-wolf. Dctur race venia ctntiquitali y 
lit miscendo human a divinis primordia urbium aitgnslicra 
faciat. (Livius.) If he had said, that writers must have leave 
to be obscure or uncertain in setting down the original of 
cities, it could not well have been denied him; but for men to 
invent, and to thrust their inventions upon others to be be- 
lieved, because they know not what else to say, Detur hcec 
rcnia nobis, to believe no more than is probable. Neither 
will that serve his turn, Jam hoc gentes hiimance paliantur 
xcquo animo, ut imp'ernvm patiuntur. They may command 
our bodies, who cannot command our souls, or our belief; and 
now we have shaken off the yoke of the one, and so we do 


reject the other. There is no less uncertainty in Plutarch's 
Thesus and Numa. Wherefore we must be contented, in the 
original of a private family, with what others are forced to 
content themselves in the beginning of cities, nations, king- 
doms and empires; which are like to some rivers, whose 
streams and outlets are known, but their springs cannot be 
found out, as they report of Nilus. Yet this our narration 
doth better deserve credit than those of Romulus, Numa, 
Thesus, &c. seeing it contains nothing thai is impossible, noth- 
ing that is fabulous or incredible: for here are neither gods for 
their fathers, nor ravening beasts their nurses. And although 
that the chronicle of our country now extant, makes no men- 
tion of their beginning, yet what we find there doth rather 
confirm than confute our deduction thereof. And indeed it 
is no wonder that they are silent in this point, if we consider 
how Edward I. of England, (sirnamed Longshanks) whom his 
countrymen term Scotoram malleus, the hammer of the Scots, 
because that he, deceiving the trust, and abusing the power 
of arbitrator, which was given him to decide the right to the 
crown of Scotland between Bruce and Baliol, did so handle 
the 'matter, that setting them together by the ears, after they 
had well beaten and battered each other, he himself fell upon 
them both, and so hammered and bruised them, that he did 
thereby over-run all the low and plain champaign country. 
If we then consider, I say, how he had to make the Scots 
malleable and pliable to his unlimited ambition, after he had 
thus cut off the flower of the Scottish nobility, destroyed also 
all the laws of the realm, both civil and ecclesiastical, burnt 
the public registers, together with private monuments, evi- 
dences, charters, and rights cf lands, we shall have greater 
cause to wonder, that any thing escaped so powerful a king, 
intending the full conquest of the country, and who had so 
jealous an eye over any thing that might encourage his new 
vassals to rebel, than that we have no more left us. Nay, al- 
though he had not done this of set purpose, and with inten- 
tion to root out all memorials of nobility out of the minds of 
the Scots, and to embase. their spirits, hy concealing from than 


their descent and qualities; yet even the common chance and 
accidents of war were enough to excuse this defect: for the 
lord Douglas's lands lying in the south parts of Scotland, hard 
upon the borders of England, this calamity did chiefly af- 
flict him; so that his houses were burnt, his castles razed, him- 
self taken prisoner, and so all monuments of his original lost 
or destroyed. Let us remember also, besides all this, the qual- 
ity and condition of those times, in which there was great 
scarcity of writers, and learned men, able to preserve the 
memory of things by their pens, all being set on war, un- 
less it were some few cloistered monks and friars, who were 
both careless and illiterate drones. Notwithstanding all 
this, as no destruction is so general, and so far spread, but 
something dcth escape the fury of it; and though all monu- 
ments had been defaced, yet some men being preserved, what 
was written in their minds and memories remaining unblot- 
ted out, they remembered what they had heard from their pre- 
decessors, and delivered it to posterity from age to age. By 
which means we have, as it were, some boards or planks 
preserved out of this shipwreck, which may perhaps keep us 
from being lost in this depth of antiquity, if it do not bring 
safe to land. 

According then to the constant and general tradition of 
men, this was their original. During the reign of Solvathius 
king of Scotland, one Donald Bain (that is, Donald the white, 
or fair) having possest himself of all the western islands 
(called Ebudcs or Hebrides) and intituling himself king there- 
of, aspired to set the crown of Scotland also upon his head. 
For effectuating whereof he gathered a great army; wherein 
he confided so much, that he set foot on the nearest conti- 
nent of Scotland, to wit, the province of Kintyre and Lome. 
The king's lieutenants, Duchal and Culen, governors of Athol 
and Argyle made head against him with such forces as they 
could assemble on the sudden. Donald trusting to the 
number of his men, did bid them battle, and so prevailed at 
first, that he made the king's army to give ground, and had 
now almost gained the day, and withal the kingdom, that lay 


at stake both in his own conceit, and the estimation of his ene- 
mies. In the mean time a certain nobleman disdaining to see 
so bad a cause have so good success, out of his love to his 
prince, and desire of honour, accompanied with his sons, and 
followers made an onset upon these prevailing rebels, with such 
courage and resolution, that he brought them to a stand, and 
then heartening the discouraged fliers, both by word and ex- 
ample, he turns the chace, and, instead of victory, they got a 
defeat; for Donald's men being overthrown and fled, he him- 
self was slain. This fact was so much the more noted as the 
danger had been great, and the victory unexpected. There- 
fore the king being desirous to know of his lieutenants the 
particulars of the fight, and inquiring for the author of so 
valiant an act, the nobleman being there in person, answer 
was made unto the king in the Irish tongue (which was then 
only in use) Sholto Du glasse, that is to say, Behold yonder 
black gray man, pointing at him, with the finger and design- 
ing him by his colour and complexion, without more ceremony 
or addition of titles of honour. The king considering his 
service and merits in preserving his crown, and delighted with 
that homely designation, rewarded him royally with many 
great lands, and imposed upon him the name of Douglas, 
which hath continued with his posterity until this day. And 
from him the shire and county, which he got, is called still 
Douglasdale, the river that watereth it, Douglas-river, the 
castle which he built therein, Douglas-castle. This narration, 
besides that it is generally received, and continued as a truth 
delivered from hand to hand is also confirmed by a certain 
manuscript of great antiquity, extant in our days in the hands 
of one Alexander Macduff" of Tillysaul, who dwelt at Moor- 
alehouse near Strathbogie. There (at his dwelling-houce) 
William earl pf Angus, who died at Paris 1616, being con- 
fined to the north in the year 1 595, did see and peruse it. 
Neither doth this relation cross or disagree with any thing set 
down in our histories: for although they do not mention this 
man, nor his fact, yet they all speak of this usurper, and of 
his attempt and overthrow in the days of Solvathius, about tke 


year 767. Hollinshed and Boetius affirm, that this Donald 
was captain or governor of the isle of Tyre. Some do call 
him Bane Mack Donald, but Buchanan calleth him expressly 
Donaldus Banus, an easy error in so great affinity of name. 
There is another of the same name called likewise Donald 
Bane, who did also usurp the title of the kingdom, and was in 
like manner defeated in the reign of king Edgar, in the year 
1000; but that being 333 years after this, and not much less 
after the emperor Charlemaigne, in whose time they had 
now propagated and spread themselves in Italy, (as shall be 
shewed anon) it cannot agree either with this history of our 
Sholto, or with that Donald whom he defeated, this last seem- 
ing to be rightlier named Macdonald, as descended, and come 
of the former, who was Donald; wherefore there is nothing 
here either fabulous or monstrous, nothing incredible, or con- 
trary to itself, or to reason, but all things very harmoniously 
answering one unto another; our tradition with the manuscript, 
and both of these agreeing with our own and foreign histories. 
And this concerning Sholto Douglas the root and original of 
the name and family. 

Of lie gii Douglas, Son lo Sholto, and First of 
the Name of Hugh, - 

JL O Sholto succeeded his son Hugh, of whom we have no- 
thing to write; but that he assisted his father at the overthrow 
of Donald Bane the usurper, there being nothing else recorded 
of him. 

Of his Son Hugh the Second. 


NTO the former Hugh succeeded his eldest son named 
jjlso Hugh; for he had two sons, Hugh and William. Hugh 
the eider lived at home in his native country as a nobleman, 
bcrn to a great inheritance, whose actions, by the iniquity of 


time are buried in silence; and therefore we will insist no long- 
er thereon. His younger brother William (as it is the custom 
of younger brothers) went abroad into foreign countries to 
seek adventures of arms, if so he might make himself a fortune 
that way. Of him therefore we will speak next. 

Of William Douglas Father of the Honourable 
Family of the Scoti in Italy. 

JL HIS William was son to the first Hugh and grandchild to 
Sholto, younger brother to the second Hugh: he it is that was 
father to the noble family of the Scoti in Placenza in Italy, 
which fell out thus, as it is related by the Italian historians 
agreeing with ours. 

Achaius king of Scotland, having succeeded to Solvathius 
did enter into a league with Charlemaigne, which league hath 
continued betwixt the Scots and French without breach on 
either side ever since until these our days; whereupon when 
the emperor Charles went into Italy to repress the insolencies 
of Desiderius king of the Lombards, committed against the See 
of Rome, Achaius as his confederate did send him four thou- 
sand choice men, under the conduct of his brother William, ;i 
pious and valorous young prince. 

Amongst other of his captains that went with him, this 
William Douglas was one of the chief, and had the leading of 
the men of arms. The emperor having restored Pope Leo 
III. to the dignity of his seat, as he returned through Tuscany, 
amongst other his notable acts, he restored also the common- 
wealth of Florence to their former liberty; in which exploit 
the valour and actions of the Scottish prince William were 
much remarked: the Florentines, to show their thankfulness 
to the emperor, took to their arms the Red-lillie, a part of the 
French arms, the colour only being changed: and in memory 
of the valour of prince William, they did institute public plays 
yearly, in which they crowned a lion with great ceremony and 
pomp, ordaining also that certain lions should be kept upon 


the charges of the common treasury, because William had s 
lion for his arms, which is also the arms of the kings of Scot- 
land. They have also a prophecy in Florence, which ,saith. 

While crowned lions live in Florence field, 
To foreign arms their state shall never yield. 

This prince William brother to Achaius king of Scotland 
passed into Germany, and gave himself wholly to the wars, 
where, for his service by his sword, having obtained large 
territories, he led a single life all his days; and, thinking to 
make Christ his heir, he founded and doted fifteen abbacies 
for those of the Scottish nation. It is he, saith Major, who i3 
named in songs made of him, Scottish Gilmore. Now while 
as the emperor and prince William were in their return from 
Italy towards France, William Douglas, in his voyage through 
Plaisance, did fall into a heavy disease, and not being able to 
go along with the emperor, staid at Plaisance till he recovered 
his health. And then considering the toil and danger of so 
long a journey, as it would be into his own country, he resolv- 
ed rather to remain there, than to hazard his person any more, 
which such travel would have greatly endangered; wherefore, 
to gain the good-will of the citizens of Plaisance, and to 
strengthen himself (being a stranger) by a good alliance, he 
took to wife a daughter of Antonio Spettino, one of the most 
eminent and honourable houses in that city. By her he had 
many children, of whom are descended those of the most 
noble family of the Scoti r who are so called by reason of this 
William their ancestor, who was a Scotchman, the name of 
his country being better known, and more remarkable, than 
either his own proper name, or the name of his family. This 
original of the Scoti in Plaisance is collected and confirmed; 
1. By the testimony of the Italian writers. 2. By the tree and 
genealogy of that family. 3. And by their coat of arms which 
they give, being the same with the ancient coat of the Dou- 
glases, with some difference. 

1. Touching our authors, they are such as have written 
the history of Plaisance, which is followed forth by Umberjus 

House of Douglas. 9 

Locatus, and Francisus Sarisovinus. This last (Sansovinus) in 
the first book of his history, de primo origine delle case 
illustri d' Italia, writteth thus, Quando Carolo Magna fece V 
impresa in Italia contra desiderio re de Longobardi ft' anno 
779 J liehbe per suo Condittiere di huomini di armi un Ga- 
lielmo Scozzese delta Familia di Conti Duglasi, &c. as we 
have set down before; only he calls it the 779 year, which 
our writers call 800 or 801. There he shows how this house 
was illustrious from the very first beginning thereof: and for 
their rank they held in that city, he declares that it was one 
of the four families which did distribute the offices of the 
city, which were these, Scotta, Landra, Anguiscola, Fontona. 
And they grew at last so numerous, and so famous both for 
letters and arms, that having purchased many rents and great 
lands and territories, together with many friends and alliance, 
they acquired the sovereignty of that city, and became abso- 
lute lords and princes thereof: so that from them, when they 
were princes of Plaisance, did spring the counts or earls of, 1. 
Vegelino, 2. Agazano, and 3. Sarmetti. They have been 
allied with the chief families in those provinces', viz. 1 . Rangoni. 
2. Fieshi. 3. Ressi, 4. Fallavicini, 5. Lodroni, 6. Strozzi, 
7. Conti d'Arco, and they like. Then he reckons divers parti- 
cular persons, and namely (which doth serve to confirm this 
deduction) Donatus Scotio bishop of Bobio, who lived in the 
year 84-6, or 848, who built a monastery without the wails of 
Plaisance, which he dedicated to the memory and honour of 
St. Bride, patroness of Douglas, in remembrance that he was 
a Douglas, as is probable. He built also a church within 
the walls, which he gave to the friars of the monastery of Bobio, 
who were of St. Coline, or Columbanus's Order, who was ab- 
bot of Icolmkill, ah island among the Scottish Hebrides. And 
this he did, saith Sansovino, Non solamente per V amor de 
Uio, ma anchora perche Sa?i Culumbano fu di Hibernia I- 
sola de Scotia: not only for the love of God, but because St, 
Colm, or Columbanus was of Ireland, an island of Scots 
land, so he thought, being a foreigner, that the Scots and 
Irish are mutually descended of each other. Then coming to 



speak of their worth and valour, he reckons up above six and 
twenty persons who were ever valorous in whatsover fortune 
good or bad, and had been in great employments continually, 
for the space of 285 years together, under the emperor Hen- 
fy JV. Charles IV. and Sigismund: also under John king of 
Bohemia, and Duke John Maria, in divers places, at Pavia, 
Candia, in Cyprus, in Albania, Famagusta, at the isle of Tinos 
against the Turks; in all which services they behaved them- 
selves valorously, and discharged their places with credit and 
honour. There were some also famous for learning, as 
Christophero Doctor of the Laws, and bishop of Cavaillon, in 
Provence of France, and Fidcrico, an excellent jurisconsult, 
and who hath written learnedly. At last he relates how they 
were overthrown by the duke of Milan, who besieged Alberto 
Vechio the elder, and forced him to render upon composi- 
tion, by which he gave divers castles, lands, and territories, 
and divers jurisdictions, with a competent estate and means. 
And here he reckons up above ten or twelve castles which 
they still possess, all famous and honourable, with the greatest 
privileges that can be. 

II. As for the tree and genealogy of these Scoti, in it we 
have first, this our 1 . William Douglas. 2. then David. 3. 
Lanfrancus, who had four sons, 1. Johannes, 2. Raynaldns, 
S. Ruffinus, 4. Rollandus. Johannes had Albertus, who be- 
gat four sons; 1 . Petrus, of whom we find no succession; 2. 
Nicholaus, of whom are descended the houses of Fombii, 
Guardamilii, and Cassaligii; 3. Francisns, or Francus, of 
whom are the counts of Volgolino, Agazano and Sarmetto, 
and those of Gragnani; 4. Jacobus, father of the family of 
the Castri sti Johannis. Lanfrancus second son, Raynaklus 
was progenitor to the Gravahi and Varsii. 3. Ruffinus his 
third son was author of the MomagJ/i, Magnani> el domorum 
del BoscJw. 4. Of Rollandus his fourth son are descended 
the Passano and Aygvcrix. These, with their offspring, have 
multiplied and spread themselves into divers parts of Italy. 
Also they are found in the Marquisate of Salluce, in France 
in Guienne, and about Bourdeaui, where they are known by 


the name of Houglas, having corrupted the original name, as 
strangers are wont to do. There are also of these Scoti in ' 
the town of Antwerp in Brabant, amongst which Petrus and 
and Cornelius Scoti, inhabitants and merchants there of the 
best sort, who being lately challenged and interrupted by the 
magistrates thereof, for presuming to set up the Douglas's 
arms upon the tombs of their fathers, did send over into Scot- 
land, in the year 1619, a messenger on purpose '(Alexander 
Seton by name) with their several letters signed with the 
names of Scoti alias Douglassi, directed unto the Right 
Honourable William Earl of Angus, Lord Douglas, &c. ac- 
knowledging their descent from his house, and intreating his 
honour's testimonial thereupon. Upon which request, the 
said Earl having examined the matter by his evidences, and o- 
ther records, found their claim to be just and right, was mow 
ed to send them by the same messenger an authentic patent 
of their pedigree under the broad seal of Scotland, as likewise 
under the hands and several seals of William Earl of Angus, 
William Earl of Morton, dated the 16th day of March, 1621. 
In which patent the said Petrus and Cornelius's extraction 
from this William father of the Scoti, and grandchild to Shol- 
to, is deduced particularly, as may be seen in the public regi- 
ster of Scotland. 3. As for the ancient arms of the house of 
Douglas, they were three mullets, or stars, only in a field 
azure, until good Sir James did add the crowned heart, be- 
cause king Robert Bruce did concrcdit to him the carrying 
of his heart and burying of it at Jerusalem. The Italian 
Douglases, or Scoti, having come off before him, kept the 
the field coat unaltered, as may be seen in their tombs and 
other monuments: for in Plaisance, in St. Lawrence church, 
where there are above twelve several monuments and tombs 
of that family, (it being their burial place,) whereof some are 
of marble, surrounded with iron-grates, there is an ancient 
monument of a noble lady near unto the high altar, bearing 
these three mullets, with this inscription, Margareta Scola 
Coniessa de Burla: but now the Italian Douglases, or Scoti, two mullets, and between two they have drawn a. 


beam Argent, which begins at the right hand, and ends at 
the left. The reason of this difference is given in this letter 
sent by the Conte de Agazano to this present Earl of Angus; 
which we will set down in his own words as he sent it 
written, and signed with his own hand, and scaled with his 

My honourable Lord, William Douglas, 
When I bad the honour to see you at Orleans, I promised 
to send you the tree of the family of the Scoti of Plaisance, 
which is descended of the illustrious house of Douglas: but 
because I have not hitherto had a convenient opportunity of 
sending it safely, I have not yet paid this debt. Now there- 
fore having found the occasion of this gentleman, my friend, 
who was to go into England, I would delay no longer to send 
the tree or genealogy; which I have done, beseeching your 
Lordship, as you promised me, to honour me with the tree; 
of the house of Douglas in Scotland, at least, so much of it as 
the iniquity of times past, and the wars in that kingdom have 
suffered to remain undefaced and undestroyed, and I shall 
rest your Lordship's obliged for this favour. 

The old arms of the Scoti in Plaisance, were conformed to 
the old arms of the Douglas, as may be seen in the foresaid 
city, in the church of Saint Lawrence. But when the Ghelfs 
und Ghibellines did war one against another in Italy, the 
Scoti, as partners of the French, were chosen to be heads of 
the Ghelfs in Plaisance. And because all things of an odd 
or unequal number were taken for Ghibeliine, they were 
constrained to change the number of three stars, into cither 
four or two. But esteeming that it was not fit to increase 
the number, they resolved to take one from them; in the 
place of which (in memory of it) they put a white or argent 
bar, which beginning at the right hand, is drawn along, and 
ends at the left: for if it had begun at the left, and ended at 
the right hand, it had been Ghibeliine. The field which 
was given by the emperor Henry IV. together with a pel- 
ican for the crest, which is the crest of the Scoti only, whf 


carry it at this hour, and the field of the "whole family 

I have thought good to make this short digression, that 
vour Lordship might have some knowledge wherefore this 
change was made in our coat: your Lordship should do me a 
singular favour, if you would be pleased to write unto me of 
the receipt of this tree, in the arms of which the coronet is 
wanting, because the crest is the place where it should be, 
and to honour me with your letters, whirh you may send to 
my noble captain the Duke of Nevers, and so they shall com© 
safe to me; for which favour I shall be particularly obliged 
to your Lordship. So; kissing your Lordship's hands, toge- 
ther with these of your brethren and children, I pray the Lord 
to bless you with all happiness and prosperity. 

Your Lordship's humble Servant and Cousin, 

Mark Antoivia Scoxo, Count d' Agazano. 

Paris, 8th May, 1622. 

This tree was received by the Earl of Angus, who did also 
send to him the tree of the house of Douglas. 

Now, besides all this which we have said, the evidences 
and monuments, charters and writs of privilege of their house 
do witness the same; for in the privileges granted to them by 
the emperor Henry IV. and Sigismund, as also by Giovanni 
Maria Duke of Milan, the sirname of Douglas is expressly in- 
serted with the titles of Earls given to three several persons 
of that house, first Francisco, created Conte de Vigolino, 
Giovanni, his brother, Conte d' Agazano, by the said Duke,, 
and to Alberto, expressly intitled, Conte de Douglas et Vigo- 
lino, by Sigismund the emperor. 

Now, after all this, I hope we may justly say with John 
Lesly, Bishop of Ross, that the Scoti in Plaisance are 
come of the Douglases in Scotland. And thus much for 
William the second, son to Hugh the first, and grandchild 
to Sholto. 


Of William the First Lord, created Lord of Douglas 
at the Parliament of Forfar. 

JN OW to return home again to the Scottish Douglases, we 
find that king Malcolm Kenmore, in a parliament held at 
Forfar in Angus, in the year 1057, as the manuscript, Major 
and Buchanan have it, but according to Boetius, 1061, did 
create many earls, and barons (or lords) and knights, a- 
mongst whom there is Gulielmus a Douglas^ who was made 
a baron. The words are these, " Malcolm the 86th king of 
Scots, being crowned at Scone in the year 1061, convened a. 
?. parliament at Forfar, where, according to the custom of o- 
ther nations, he ordained that noblemen should have their 
titles to be distinguished by their possessions and lands, which 
had not been the custom of this country in former times. 
And so he created some counts or earls, others barons or 
lords, and others cavaliers or martial knights: he made Mac- 
duff earl of Fife, who had been thane of Fife, Patrick Dun- 
bar, earl of March: he made also others of the nobility earls 
of Monteith, Athol, Mar, Murray, Caithness, Ross, Angus. 
John Souls, David Dardier of Abernethy, Simon of Twed- 
dale, William of Douglas, Gillespie Cameron, David Brichen, 
Hugh of Calder, were made barons or lords; others more he 
knighted likewise a great many, so that few thanes were left.'' 
This note of these very words were extracted out of the re- 
gister and monuments of Icolmkill, and sent to George Buch- 
anan, when he was in writing his history of Scotland, where- 
of John Reid, (Buchanan's servitor and amanuensis) having 
reserved a copy, did communicate it to divers afterward, 
Now here this William being ranked among the nobility, 
who were chosen out to receive these new honours, could be 
no mean man; but in all likelihood, the thief and principal of 
that name, and so the eldest descended of Sholto and his son 
Hugh the first, and his grandchild Hugh the second, by line- 
al succession. This is all we have of him, save that it is a re- 
ceived general report and tradition, that his two sons John, 


and William were knights at the same parliament, which is 
an argument that he hath been a man of good esteem and 
eminent place. 

Of John the Second Lord of Douglas. 


ILLI AM did leave behind him two sons, John and Wil- 
liam, both knights, the eldest was Sir John of Douglas-burn, 
which is a parcel of ground and manor lying betwixt Etrick- 
Forest and Peebles. The other was William of Glendin- 
ning, which is about the upmost parts of West-Tiviotdale 
near to Eusdale. Now whether this John did succeed to his 
father in the lordship, as being his eldest son and heir, who 
was designed (during his father's lifetime only) by the title 
of Douglas-burn, or whether he had an elder brother, and so 
both he and Sir William were but cadets of the house of 
Douglas, we cannot affirm: but thus much they say, that 
these two brothers were men of great power and authority, 
and very worthy and valiant gentlemen. They affirm also, 
that Sir William of Glendinning had two sons Alexander 
and William, of whom are descended those of Cressewell, 
Strabrock, Pompherston, Pittendrigh, and Calder-cleer. 

Of William the Second of thai Name, and Third 
Lord of Douglas, 

E have but little mention of this man, only in a charter 
granted to the town of Ayr by King David, first son to King 
Malcolm Kcnmore, he is inserted a witness, without any o- 
ther title or designation, than William of Douglas. This 
charter was given the 25th or 27th year of his reign, the 
year of God 1-15 1, two years before his death, which was. 



Of Archibald the Fourth Lord of Douglas, and 
First of that Name. 

JL HERE is as little mention made of this Archibald as of 
the former William; we had him only inserted witness in a 
second charter granted to the town of Ayr, by Alexander 
the second son to King William, in the 22d of his reign, and 
of our redemption, 1236. 

Of the Third William, and Fifth Lord of Douglas, 
Maker of the Indenture with the Lord Abernetiiy. 

JL HIS William is found in an indenture made betwixt him 
and the Lord Abernethy, which the earls of Angus have yet 
extant, amongst their other evidences and rights of their 
lands. The date of this indenture is on Palm-sunday, in 
the year 1259, in the reign of Alexander III. the place, the 
castle of Edinburgh. It is a contract of marriage, in which 
the father, called there William Lord Douglas, doth contract 
his son Hugh Douglas to Marjory Abernethy, sister to Hugh 
Lord Abernethy; the sum and contents thereof are, that the 
marriage shall be solemnized on Pasch-day, that all things 
may be perfected before Ascension-day. The conditions are 
these, for th« Lord Abernethy's part, that he shall give with 
his sister to Hugh Douglas, viginti caviclas terra- (perhaps it 
should be carnicaias terra J twenty plough-gate of land in 
the town of GlencOrs. And for the Lord Douglas part, that 
he shall give to his s<M Hugh Douglas and Marjory his wife, 
twenty plough-gate of hnd in the feu of Douglas. The wit- 
nesses are Alexander Cumin earl of Buchan, Raynold Cum- 
in, John of Dundie-mcor, and one Douglas, whose Christian 
1,,'rae was worn away, (plainV Andrew in the original yet ex- 
tant) and could not be read\ This should seem to be that 
mture which Sir Richard Iv*ct eHane of Lethington, father 


to John Lord of Thirlestane, sometime chancellor of Scot- 
land, of worthy memory, doth mention in his manuscript, 
where he hath carefully collected some memoirs of the house 
of Douglas. He says, that Sir John Ballantine of Achnoute 
knight, did show to John Lesly bishop of Ross, one inden- 
ture that makes mention of Douglases eighty years before 
that Lord William (tbe Hardie) who was contemporary with 
William Wallace; and this indenture is very near so long 
before his time: but he saith, that the Lord Abernethy, who 
doth there indenture with the Lord Douglas, was father to 
Marjory, and our indenture makes him brother to her. It 
may be there have been two indentures, one before this 
made by her father, which not being accomplished during 
his life, hath been renewed by his son or brother, or that 
they have mistaken it, for there is no other save this only, 
which doth clearly call him her brother, amongst their writs 
and evidences. Upon this there was drawn up a charter, 
without date of either time or place; only it appears by the 
tenor thereof, that it was made after the indenture. The 
giver is the same Lord William to Hugh his son and heir; 
the lands disposed to him are, Glaspen, Hartwood, Kennox, 
and Carmackhope and Leholm; together with the lands, says 
he, that are in suit of law betwixt me and the heirs of John 
Crawford, without any detriment. Then the cause of his 
giving is set down, that they may be a dowry to Marjory 
Abernethy his son's wife, and sister to Hugh Lord Aberne- 
thy. Ever after this he entitles his son, Sir Hugh of Dou- 
glas. It hath an express caveat, that if after the marriage 
be solemnized, the said Sir Hugh of Douglasdale, shall hap-* 
pen to die, or if he shall through some devilish or wicked 
disposition, abstain from copulation with her, she shall brook 
and enjoy these lands, although the said Lord William 
rhould be alive: and if the said Marjory shall outlive the said 
Lord William, though her husband Hugh should die before 
him, yet he shall have the third part of his lands in Douglas- 
dale, excepting the third of so much as the said Lord Wil- 
liam shall leave to his wife. There is in it another very 


] 5 history of The 

6trange point, and as it were a provision in case of divorce- 
ment, or not consummating the marriage, viz. that if the 
said Sir Hugh, or Lord Hugh be then, after his father's 
death, living lord and heir, or have an heir by any other 
wife, the said Marjory shall possess the lands notwithstand- 
ing, all the days of the said Hugh's life. Now he could not 
have an heir by another wife, unless he were first divorced 
from her* There is also one clause more touching her secu- 
rity, that if the Lord Abernethy, or his council shall desire 
any other security reasonable, by charter or hand-write, that 
they shall cause make the conveyance as they think good, and 
Lord William shall sign it, and set his seal to it. The seal 
at this is longer than broad, fashioned like a heart, the letters 
thereon are Worn away ahd not decernable save only (W^) 
and the arms seem to be three stars or mullets at the upper 
end thereof: but I cannot be bold to say absolutely they were 
so. This I have set down the more particularly and punc- 
tually, that by these circumstance the truth may be more 
clear, and free from all suspicion of forgery and invention* 
i have done it also, that though every one be not curious, or 
taken with these things* such as are, of which number I pro- 
fess myself to be One, may find something to please their 
harmless desire of the not Unpleasant, and someway profit- 
able knowledge of antiquity. 

By this indenture it is clear that this William is not the 
same with William Hardie, who died in prison, and was fa- 
ther to good Sir James, because his name was William, and 
had a son Hugh, as the other also had: for if we do but sup- 
pose that Hugh contracted to Marjory Abernethy was twen- 
ty five years of age at the making of the indenture, 1259, 
and that his father Lord William was twenty-five years elder 
than his son Hugh, fifty in all j then must he have been, 
when he married the young English lady, by whom he had 
divers children, and when he assisted William Wallace, when 
he surprised the castles of Sanquhair and Disdeir, and per- 
formed other warlike exploits, being still in action till 1300, 
about ninety or a hundred years of age, which carries no 


likelihood with it, that one so old should be so able of his bo<r 
dy; besides this Lord William, the author of this indenture, 
had for his eldest son and heir this Hugh, contracted to Mar- 
jory Abernethy, but the eldest son and heir to that Lord 
William was good Sir James, who died in Spain: for all our 
histories do tell how that the bishop of St. Andrews did suit 
King Edward for good Sir James, to restore him to his fa- 
ther's lands and inheritance; but King Edward refused to do 
it: and in a charter given by King Robert Bruce, in the 15th 
year of his reign, at Berwick-upon-Tweed, of the lordship of 
Douglas, these express words are contained, Jacobo domino 
de DouglaSyJitio et heredi Gulielmi de Douglas. This good 
.Sir James dying without heir-male lawfully gotten of his own 
bodv, his brother Hugh succeeded to him in the year 1342, 
in which year the same Hugh doth give a charter of the said 
lands and lordship, to wit, Douglasdaie, together with the 
lands of Carmichael, Selkirk, &c. to his nephew William son 
to Archibald his brother, which William did succeed to 
Hugh, he having no heirs-male: he was afterwards Earl of 
Douglas. Now it is against all reason to think that he that 
was contracted to Marjory Abernethy, 1259, should be the 
same with this Hugh who gives this charter, 1342, seeing he 
must be now 106 or 107 years of age, which is not probable. 
This William had to wife Martha, sister of Alexander Earl 
of Carrick, who bare to him two sons, Hugh his eldest, and 
William the Hardie. By their alliance with the house of 
Carrick, besides that he was not a little strengthened, they 
being great men and powerful, it fell out that his posterity 
became of kindred to Kins* Robert Bruce: for Fergus Lord of 

o . o 

Galloway had two sons-, the elder Gilbert, and Ethred the 
younger. At his death he ordained that the lordship of Gal- 
loway should be divided betwixt them, which was done ac- 
cordingly; and the division was ratified and confirmed by 
King William, who did then reign: but the king, being after- 
wards taken prisoner at Anwick by the English, Gilbert no- 
thing contented with the division, having got Ethred his bro-, 
ther into his hands, caused put out his eyes, una po3sesse4 


himself of the whole lordship, and kept it till he died, which 
was before the king's return out of England, before which 
Ethred also was dead. These two brothers left each of them 
a son behind them; Gilbert left Alexander, and Ethred, Row- 
land. This Rowland finding his faction the stronger, thrust 
out his cousin Alexander, and seized upon the whole estate 
himself alone, and, at the king's return, took a new gift there- 
of of the king, who gave also to Alexander, Gilbert's son, in 
recompence and lieu thereof, the earldom of Carrick. This 
Alexander had but one sister named Martha, who was mar- 
ried to this Lord William Douglas; he went into Syria with 
Edward Prince of Wales, who was brother-in-law to king A- 
lexander III. sent by the king and state, at the Pope's request 
to fight against the Saracens. There went with him the 
Earl of Athol, and many brave knights and gentlemen; in 
which expedition he died, leaving only one daughter his 
heir, . Martha Countess of Carrick. She was married to Ro- 
bert Bruce, son to Robert Bruce, who is known by the name 
of Robert the noble, and to Isabel second daughter to David 
Earl of Huntington. To this Robert the Countess of Carrick 
bare Robert Bruce, who was afterwards king of Scotland. So 
then we see how Martha Countess of Carrick, and William the 
Hardie were cousin-germans; and her son king Robert Bruce 
and good Sir James, cousins once removed: so that not only 
the thralled liberties of Scotland, and his private losses, did 
oblige Sir James to side with king Robert, and to stick sq 
constantly to him, but this tie of blood and consanguinity al- 
so, being so near a kinsman. We are also to observe here, 
that Martha Countess of Carrick was also the nearebt, just and 
rightful heir to the lordship of Galloway, being descended of 
the elder brother Gilbert, and therefore to be preferred be- 
fore Allan, who was descended of the younger brother Ethred 
by Rowland his father; and after her and her heirs, her fa- 
ther's sister, married to this Lord William, was next heir to 
both the earldom of Carrick and lordship of Galloway. 
Whether this title did move the Douglases to seek the lord- 
ship of Galloway, as they did afterward, and helped thera to 


obtain it the more easily of the king, or of others descended 
of Allan, and of his heirs, I leave it to be considered. How- 
ever that be, we may see, by the matching with this honour- 
able house of Carrick, Galloway and Abernethy, the chief 
peers in this realm as then, that the house of Douglas was of 
no small esteem and account long before good Sir James, and 
that they mistake things far, and are but ill versed in antiqui- 
ty, that think he was the first that did raise that name to no- 
bility or greatness, this William's marriage having preceded 
his time eighty years at least. 

Of Sir Hugh., the Third of that Name, and 
Sixth Lord of Douglas. 

VV ILLIAM had to his eldest son and lawful successor, Sir 
Hugh Douglas, who, as we have said, was married to Marjory 
Abernethy, daughter to Alexander, and sister to Hugh Lord 
of Abernethy. This house of Abernethy were friends and 
followers of the Cumings, and did assist and party them in all 
their enterprises, as we may see by their joining with them at 
Kinross, when they took king Alexander III, Their credit 
and favour with their princes appears by this, that Lord Wil- 
liam Abernethy got of king William the Abbacy of Aber- 
brothock, or (as it may be thought rather, fqr the writing was 
dim and hard to discern) the collegiate church.- lands of Aber- 
nethy, paying thence yearly twenty pounds. This Hugh 
Abernethy obtained also of king Alexander III. a charter of 
the lands of Lenry, and a pension of fifty pounds sterling a, 
year; likewise he got from the same king a confirmation of 
the lands of Hulkstone and Lilestone. In these gifts the 
Cumings still are witnesses, and with them styled Patrick 
Earl of Dunbar. We find also a gift of twenty pound lancL, 
granted by Isabel Countess of Strathern, relict of Walter 
Cuming and her husband John Russel. In the days of Ba- 
»iol this house was so powerful, that they were able to make 


their party good against the Earl of Fife, whom they slew, 
and were winked at by Baliol. With this house did Sir Hugh 
match, as his father had done with Carrick and Galloway* 
which, as it was an honourable alliance for him, so doth it al- 
so argue that the house of Douglas even then was noble and 
honourable, and in the rank amongst the greatest, as we have 

How long this Sir Hugh Lord Douglas did live after his con- 
tract and marriage, we cannot find: but it is clear that he had 
no children that survived and outlived their father; because 
his brother William was his heir and successor. Neither can 
we relate any of his particular actions, only fame and tradi- 
tion have given him a received testimony of activity, watch- 
fulness and diligence, by terming him good Sir Hugh Doug- 
las, whom his foes found never sleeping. He, with his wife, 
are buried in St. Bride's church in Douglas. 

Of William the Hardy, or Long Leg, the Fourth 
William, and Seventh Lord qf Douglas* 

JL O Hugh did succeed his brother William, who, for his va- 
lour and courage is distinguished by the addition of William 
the Hardy; he is named also William Long Leg, by reason of 
his tall and goodly stature, having been a very personable 
man. He was twice married; first to the Lord Keith's sister, 
by whom he had two sons, James and Hugh, as is evident by 
a charter of resignation made by his son Hugh to his nephew 
William the first earl of Douglas: his ne£t wife was an Eng- 
lish lady called Ferrar, or Ferrais, of which name we find the 
Earls of Derby to have been in the days of King Henry III. 
She bare also two sons, Archibald lord of Galloway, and 
John, of whom are descended the lords of Dalkeith, Mains, 
and Lochleven.' 

Concerning himself, we find in the English Chronicle, thaj; 
vheti King Edward I. took in the town of Berwick, in thq 


y«ar 1295, he was captain of the castle there, and not being 
able to resist and hold out, the town being in the enemies 
hands, he rendered the place with himself also a prisoner, 
where he remained until the wars were ended, by the yield- 
ing of John Baliol to King Edward. During the time of his 
captivity he was to marry this English lady, that so he might 
be drawn to favour the king's pretensions in conquering of 
Scotland. But his matching did not alter his affect ion to- 
wards his native country, nor broke his constancy in perform- 
ing his duty to it. 

Wherefore, when he heard that William Wallace was risen 
up, and had taken open banner against the English, he joined 
with him; by which accession of forces Wallace's army was 
much increased and strengthened; yet they were not always 
together, but according to the occasion, and as opportunity 
did offer, they did divide their companies, and went to seve- 
ral places, where they hoped to get best advantage of the 
enemy, and where there needed no great army, but some few 
companies at once. In these adventures Lord William reco- 
vered from the English the castles of Disdeir and Sanquhair. 
The manner of his taking the castle of Sanquhair is said to 
have been thus; there was one Anderson that served the cas- 
tle, and furnished them with wood and fuel, who had daily 
access to it upon that occasion. The Lord Douglas directs 
one of his trustiest and stoutest servants to him to deal with 
him, to find some means to betray the castle to him, and to 
bring him within the gates only. Anderson, either persuad- 
ed by entreaty, or corrupted with money, gave my Lord's 
servant, called Thomas Dickson, his apparel and carriages, 
who coming to the castle, was let in by the porter for Ander- 
son. Dickson presently stabbed the porter, and giving the 
signal to his Lord, who lay near by with his companies, set 
open the gates, and received them into the court. They be- 
ing entered, killed the captain, and the whole English garri- 
son, and so remained masters of the place. The captain's 
name was Beuford, a kinsman to his own lady Ferrais, who 
had oppressed the country that lay near to him very insolent- 



ly. One of the English that had been in the castle escaping, 
went to the other garrisons that were in other castles and towns 
adjacent, and tola them what had befallen his fellows, and 
withal informed them how the castle might be recovered: 
whereupon joining their iorces together, they came and be- 
sieged it. The Lord Douglas finding himself straitened, and 
unprovided of necessaries for his defence, did secretly con- 
vey his man Dickson out at a postern or some hidden pas- 
sage, and sent him to William Wallace for aid; Wallace was 
then in Lennox, and hearing of the danger Douglas was in, 
made all the haste he could to come to his relief. The Eng- 
lish having notice of Wallace's approach, left the siege, and 
retired toward England, yet not so quickly, but that Wallace, 
accompanied with Sir John Graham did overtake them, and 
killed 500 of their number, before they could pass Dalswinton. 
By these and such like means, Wallace, with his assistants 
havin^ beaten out the English from most part of their strengths 
in Scotland, did commit the care and custody of the whole 
country, from Drumlanrig to Ayr, to the charge of the Lord 
Douglas. Now however there be no mention of these things 
in our chronicle, yet seeing the book of Wallace (which is 
more particular in many things) speaks of them, and the char- 
ter of the house of Simington, descended lineally of the said 
Thomas Dickson, who, for this and his other like services 
done to this Lord, and afterward to his son good Sir James, 
got the twenty merk land of Hisleside, which his posterity 
doth enjoy still, holding of the Lords of Douglas and Angus; 
and there is no doubt to be made, but he hath done much 
more in his assistance he gave Wallace, than is recorded or 
extant any where, there being no likelihood that in those so 
busy times, these so valiant and brave warriors did lie idle, 
though the particulars lie buried in deep silence. And cer- 
tainly it was not for nought that his lands were burnt by Ro- 
bert Bruce himself, his wife and children taken prisoners, and 
brought to the king of England; his wife and children were tak- 
en by Bruce, himself by the Lord Clifford. King Edward re- 
quired him to take his oath of fidelity to the crown of Eng- 


land, and become his subject, which he utterly refusing to do, 
his lands were given to the Lord Clifford, and himself com- 
mitted prisoner, and so he continued to the hour of his death. 
During which time he never abated any thing of his magna- 
nimous courage and constancy, but showed himself worthy of 
his noble progenitors, and no ways short of whatever worth 
either they had, or fame hath bestowed on them: so did he 
also well deserve to be predecessor to such successors, and fa- 
ther to such posterity: who, as we shall hear hereafter, did 
follow this virtuous example and pattern. How praise-worthy 
is it in him, that neither the danger of his own person, being 
in the hands and power of his enemy, nor the example of so 
many as did yield to the victorious conqueror, there being few 
or none beside William Wallace that stood out against him, 
no not the desperate case and state of his country brought to 
so low an ebb, could break his resolution to remain firm to 
his native soil; notwithstanding that, by all appearance, all was 
irrecoverably lost: so that his standing out against the king 
could bring no help to it, and certain enmity, for ought could 
be seen, to himself and his posterity for ever. 

Setting aside all these regards, which are so common, and 
so highly accounted of in this our last age, not measuring du- 
ty by profit or commodity, nor following the common rules 
of that wisdom which now reigns in the world, which is to 
respect and prefer our particular before all other things; but 
weighing matters in another balance, and squaring his actions 
by what was generous and right, rather than that which was 
gainful and advantageous for himself; he hath left an example 
of true wisdom, virtue and honesty, and of true magnanimi- 
ty unto others. He died a free man in despite of his ene- 
mies, though a prisoner, and bore witness of the liberty of 
his country, that it did not serve, but was oppressed, con- 
vincing the tyrant of that time of violence, and the advocates 
and proctors which he either then had, or since have pleaded 
for him in that debate, of most impudent and manifest lying: 
and there are some even in our days scarce yet ashamed of 
so shameful an assertion as to affirm, that Scotland, and some 



of their kings have yielded obedience and homage to a foreign 
prince, acknowledging him for their sovereign. But the 
truth hereof is, that it hath been oppressed, but never served: 
it hath been overcome, and over-run; but it never yielded: 
and afterwards* through constancy and courage, did at last o- 
vercome the overcomer, and shake off the yoke of foreigners 
in spite of ail their force and fraud, whereof as the Lord 
Douglas in this catastrophe- of his life is a pregnant witness; 
so hath he left behind him an honourable memory of an in- 
vincible mind, and a lesson for tyrants, to teach and let them 
see how weak a thing tyranny is, and how small power and 
force it hath when it meets with true courage, though it were 
but of one man, who overcomes their force and falsehood 
with truth and constancy: and certainly this lord's virtue and 
merits are such, as, however, those that come after him did 
fall into more happy times, and had better occasions to show 
themselves, and to make their actions more conspicuous to- 
wards their country; yet there is no reason why he should be 
thought inferior to any one of them, because his fortune was 
harder than theirs: nay he ought rather to be preferred so 
much the more, as he was more assailed, and compassed a- 
bout with difficulties, and did wrestle with the necessities of 
the times without shrinking or succumbing under the bur- 
den: besides it was he that planted and laid the foundation, 
upon which tney builded so honourable enterprises, and did 
perfect what they had begun. 

Some write, that he being cited by King Edward, with o- 
thers of this country, appeared upon the citation, and that he 
was not apprehended by fraud or force, but came of his own 
accord to Berwick; which if he did, it hath not been to con- 
fess or acknowledge any servitude or homage as due to Ed- 
ward or the English, but to plead for the liberty of his coun- 
trv, and to protest and testify against his usurpation. Others 
say, that he and the Bishop of Glasgow being challenged to 
partake in a conspiracy against King Edward, under a pre- 
text of a treaty with Percy, to avoid the imputation of disloy- 
alty and treason, of which he would not be partaker, he came 


and yielded himself to the king, which, if it be true, was a. 
very honourable and generous fact, remarkable and rare to be 
found, that no love of his country, nor hatred of tyranny, so 
strong and powerful motives, could draw him to be partaker 
of any dishonest action, though against his enemy. Methinkg 
such noble carriage might have procured more noble dealing 
at King Edward's hands, and have wrung more favour from 
him, which since it did not, it may be taken as an argument 
of want of goodness in himself, who had neither judgement to 
discern in virtue, nor a heart to honour it in others: but, for 
my own part, I think it most likely that he was taken by one 
means or other, and brought in against his will; but whether 
he was brought in with his will, or came in against his will, 
that word of yielding, which they ascribe to him, is either 
very impertinent, or else very warily to be understood, tq 
wit, for the yielding of his person only, not of the liberty of 
lus country, which he never yielded; neither for the acknow- 
ledging of any English authority over it or himself, which he 
never would do, but chose rather to die in prison in Hog's 
tower in Berwick. There are that say he was sent from Ber- 
wick to Newcastle, and from thence carried to York, in 
the castle whereof he died, and was buried in a little chapel 
at the south end of the bridge, which is now altogether de-, 
cayed. His death, which is reckoned by some to have fal- 
len out in the year 1307, must have been sooner, in the year 
1302; for his son Sir James returned into Scotland in the 
year 1S03, when Edward was at Stirling, where the Bishop of 
St. Andrews did recommend him to the king: now Sir James 
came not home till he heard news of his father's death. It is 
also said of this lord, that he had the Isle of Man, whether as 
heritable possessor, or as governor only, it is not known; but 
it is well known that this island belonged to the crown of 
Scotland, and that the Douglases have had more than an or- 
dinary interest therein; Douglas-castle and Douglas-haven, 
which carry their names to this day, do bear sufficient wit- 
ness: but whether from this man, or some other, is not so 
easy to determine peremptorily, 


Of Good Sir J ames j the First James, and Eighth 
Lord of Douglas. 

JL HE next is James, commonly called Good Sir James, 
whom men account as the first of whom the house of Dou- 
glas received the beginning of their greatness, which came at 
last to exceed others so far, that it did almost pass the bounds 
of private subjects. He was, as we have said already, son to 
the same William by his first wife the Lord Keith's sister: his 
education in his youth is said to have been in virtue and let- 
ters; first at Glasgow, afterwards at Paris: for his father being 
incumbered with wars, and at last imprisoned, his uncle Ro- 
bert Keith conveyed him away to Paris in the time of Philip 
le Belle, where he remained exercising himself in all virtuous 
exercise, and profited so well, that he became the most com- 
plete, and best accomplished young nobleman in the country, 
or elsewhere. Being certified of his father's death, the love 
of his native soil made him to return into Scotland, to order 
the course of his life, by the counsel and advice of his friends. 
But when he came home, finding his patrimony disposed by 
King Edward to the Lord Clifford, and his friends scattered 
and dispersed, having by his mother some relation of kindred 
to William Lambert, Archbishop of St. Andrews, he address- 
ed himself to him, who did receive him kindly, and entertain 
him nobly. And when King Edward I. was come to Stirling 
in his last journey (at that time he in a manner over-ran all 
Scotland, and destroyed the monuments thereof) the archbi- 
shop going thither to salute him, carried this young man a- 
long with him-, and taking this opportunity presented him to 
King Edward, humbly entreating him to take him into his 
protection and to restore him into his father's inheritance, 
and employ him in his service, as a youth of great hope and 
expectation, and such as might be useful and stedable, if he 
should be pleased to use him. The king demanded what he 
■was-, and having understood what his name and his lineage 
was, and that he was son to Lord William, did absolutely re- 


fuse to do him any courtesy or favour; nay, he could not re- 
frain from reproachful and contumelious words against the 
obstinacy and treason (so he was pleased to nick-name virtue) 
of his father, saying, that he had no service for him, nor for 
any such traitor's son as his father was; that he had given 
his lands to better men than himself, and those that had done 
him better service than he was able to do; and though they 
had not been given, yet would he never have given them to 
him: so implacable he was, and such pride had he conceived, 
with contempt of the depressed state of this supplicant, little 
remembering the variableness of the estate of man, and little 
knowing or considering what weight and moment may be in 
one man alone, in whatsoever condition, to brawl sometimes, 
and to help even to disappoint and overthrow the enterprizes 
of the mightiest monarchs. It came even so to pass in this 
man, who did this king's son and successor such a piece of 
shrewd service, as he had never the like in all his life; which 
had been more shrewd, if the speed of his horses, and the 
undutifulness of some Scots, that received him into their 
castle of Dunbar, when he fled from Bannockburn, had not 
stood him in better stead than all his huge host and rich 
kingdom, wherewith he was so puffed up. Whereby princes 
and great men may learn not to despise the meanness and 
and most afflicted state of any, nor to loose the reins neither 
to unjust actions or reproachful words. 

Sir James being thus rebuked, what could he do against a 
king, a monarch, a victorious and triumphant king, to whom 
all had yielded, with whom all went well, in his highest 
pitch of grandeur, and compassed about with his guards and 
his armies? To controul him, he was not able; to plead for 
justice, it would avail him nothing; to reply could profit him 
less: a prince, his victor's word is a law, nay more than a law 
for the time. There was no contesting, no contradicting, 
were his speeches never so unjust: he behoved to swallow this 
pill (how bitter soever) there was no remedy but patience. 
Nay, the archbishop must be silent also, and dares not mut- 
ter one word: wherefore home he goes with tliis scorn, to 


expect a better time of replying, not in words, but deeds, and 
of shewing what service he was able to have done to him. 
The occasion of which, though it were too long in coming 
in respect of his desire, yet did fall out, not very long after; 
for within two or three years (1305) Robert Bruce came in- 
to Scotland, not yet a king, save in courage, but having right 
to be king of the country, whom Edward had served in the 
same kind, and who had received the like answer and scorn 
in a petition not unlike; for both did crave their father's 
inheritance, Sir James only a lordship, and the Bruce a 
whole kingdom, .which was but his due, and he had done 
him better service than Sir James. He had fought against 
his own country for him, spent the blood of his friends, and 
his own, in hope of it; with great loss to himself and exam- 
ple to others not to do the like. But neither duty, desert, 
nor promise could oversway his ambition, and master it so far 
as to suffer him to perform what he had promised: and not 
content to have fed this prince with the food of fools, fair 
hopes, and after so much employment and many notable ser- 
vices, to frustrate him, he must needs also embitter all with 
a flouting answer to his demand. To such a height of pri^e 
had prosperity raised him, that no modesty could keep him 
from losing the reins to an unbridled tongue, which doth 
never beseem a man, much less a prince: wherefore as hatred 
and despite did animate him against Sir James, for his father's 
refusing to serve him; so ambition did work the same affec- 
tion in him against Robert, though he had served him; both 
were refused of their suits, both their petitions were re- 
jected; the one with spite, the other with derision. What 
(saith king Edward, being urged with his promise of giving 
the kingdom of Scotland to Bruce) " Have we nothing else 
" to do, but to conquer kingdoms for you?" Mings, poten- 
tates, and victors should not be pressed with their promises: 
so they think, and so men say, laws are not made for them, 
which they leap over at their pleasure. And it might be 
thought so perhaps, if their power were perfect, and if there 
were not a more absolute and over-ruling power that k able 



to range them under reason. We shall find it so, even in 
this particular afterwards, although this were no time for him 
to reply; no more than it had been for Sir James at Stirling. 
But the time being now come in the year 1305, as said is. 

But the time being being now come, though not so fit 
as he could have wished, yet as it was he behoved to use 
it, and make virtue of necessity. And so withdrawing him- 
self secretly out of England, he came to Dumfries and there 
slew John Cuming his greatest enemy, determining from 
thenceforth to behave and carry himself as king of this realm. 
And here by the way, we may observe God's providence to- 
wards this kingdom, in preserving the liberties thereof, who 
had before stirred up William Wallace like another Samson 
to vindicate it out of the hands of the English. Now that 
he is gone, he sends home our lawful prince, and righteous 
successor to the crown, to fight our battles for us, and to per- 
fect what the other had begun; only for so much as about this 
time, John Monteith, under colour of friendship, had be- 
trayed William Wallace into the hands of the English for 
money; and he being taken and carried into London, was by 
King Edward's command tortured and put to death with 
great cruelty; and his arms, legs, and head, hung up in the 
most eminent places and cities both of England and Scotland. 
Of which fact of Edward's we will say no more, but only 
set down the said Wallace's epitaph, which is prefixed to that 
book that is written of his exploits in Scots rhyme. 

Envious Death, who ruins all, 
Hath wrought the sad lamented fall 
Of Wallace, and no more remains 
Of him than what an urn contains. 
We for our Hero ashes have, 
He for his armour a cold grave. 
He left the earth too low a state, 
And by his worth o'ercame his fate. 
His soul Death had no power to kill, 
His noble deeds the world doth fill 
With lasting trophies of his name. 
O hadst thou virtue lov'd or fame 


Thou couldst not hare insulted so 

Over a brave betrayed foe, 

Edward, nor seen those limbs expos'd 

To public shame, fit to be clus'd 

As reliques in a holy shrine; 

But now the infamy is thine. 

His end crowns him with glorious bays, 

And stains the brightest of thy praise. 

But to return to our Sir James. He is no sooner advertis- 
ed of the Bruce's arrival into Scotland, and of the Cuming's 
slaughter, when without either summons or entreaty, (save 
of his own mind in that common case sympathizing with the 
other) he resolves to try his fortune in that course with him. 
But what could he do, poor gentleman, being in such neces- 
sity, and destitute of all help: he had neither horse nor ar- 
mour, nor followers for such a business; all was gone, and 
violently taken from him by the iniquity of the times, and 
the prevailing of the enemy. There was neither friend nor 
mean left for his provision. Shall he burden archhishop 
Lambert? What could a prelate do? What could he, especi- 
ally being under the beast's feet, as we say, and subject to 
King Edward? It is better sometimes to force a friend than 
to endanger him. Compulsion may be used where there is 
peril in the consenting; chiefly if the party be not unwilling, 
the ground right, and the cause good: otherwise, violence is 
never to be attempted; neither is iniquity, fraud, or false- 
hood, (evil and hurtful courses) either against private men, 
or the public state, to be warranted by this example. To it 
he goes, and robs Lambert of what he durst not give him: 
he enticeth his servants, whose hearts did serve them to serve 
him in that hazard, whom their lord durst not command to 
go with him: he takes also some gold from him, and provides 
himself a horse and armour, and that all might seem to be 
done by the strong hand; and violence might plead for the 
bishop at King Edward's hands, he beats the rest of the ser- 
vants that were left behind, and so goes away with the prey; 
an honourable robber, and just spoiler! He meets Robert 
Bruce it Arickstone in the head of Annandale. If he were 


welcome or not, I leave it to the consideration of the reader 
he was received as his cousin, and used as a companion, and 
continued as a faithful friend and loyal subject, so long as 
their days continued, without variance, emulation, or jealousy, 
or grudge on either side. A happy king by such a servant' 
A happy servant by such a prince! A happy country by such 
a society and pair of worthy friends! So it is where virtues 
encounter, begetting mutual affection, and produce notable 
effects. The Bishop of Ross, John Leslie, says, that he car* 
ried this money to Bruce from, the Archbishop, and makes 
no mention of any force, whose commendation of this James 
is not amiss to be here inserted. " At this time one James 
" Douglas, a youth of high spirit, and ready to undergo 
f* whatsoever peril, considering with himself how Robert 
" Bruce (a man adorned with all virtues) was vexed with 
'* the unjust arms of the English, and pursued with war a- 
" gainst all equity, obtained of the Bishop of St. Andrews 
*' (in whose company he was) a great sum of money, to up- 
" hold the now declining cause of Robert; which money he 
(« carried to him with all diligence, and ever after aided him 
(( him in his wars valiantly: in peace he was free and upright, 
" pleasant in prosperity, and faithful in adversity, during all 
** the days of his life. From this James the noble family of 
<£ the Douglases is counted to have taken the beginning of 
" greatness." 

Their efforts at first were of exceeding hard success. 
Robert Bruce was crowned at Scone in the year 1 306, in Ap- 
ril, at which Sir James assisted, casting into a heap, as others 
did, a quantity of earth of his lands of Douglas, which mak- 
ing a little hill, it is called yet Omnis terra. This was the 
custom of those times, by which homage they that held the 
king of Scotland supreme under God, were distinguished 
from others. Some months after the coronation, about the- 
19th of June, they were defeated in a conflict at Methven by 
Odamarre de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, but without any 
great loss of men; for they being few in number, and per- 
ceiving their inequality, fled betimesj, while their men wer^ 


yet in breath and unwearied, having adventured so far rather 
to try their fortune, what it was like to prove in their main 
intentions, than in hope of victory, where there was so great 
odds every way. There were taken at this battle Sir 
Thomas Randolph a young stripling, Sir Alexander Fraser, 
Sir David Barclay, Insh Martin, Hugh de la Hay, or Hugh 
Hay, Somervale, and some others, whom Sir Aimer Valence 
caused to promise fealty to the king of England, and on that 
condition saved their lives; especially Randulph, who is re-» 
marked after this to have been very forward for the king of 
England, till he was taken again by Sir James Douglas, as 
we shall hear hereafter. After this battle they retired to the 
castle of Kildrummie, where the queen and divers other ladies 
remained in great scarcity of victuals, being sustained most 
part by what Sir James Douglas took by hunting and fishing. 
Not long after, as they went by Athole to Argyle, Athole 
having intelligence of them, invaded them, together with 
Lome, his sister's son, and constrained them to fight at a place 
called Dalree, (which is to say, the King's Field) about the 
12th of August; their fortune was no better than it had been 
before, the day was lost, some but not many of their men 
slain, they themselves put to flight and fain to save their lives, 
by lurking amongst the hills for a season in a most desert 
place, living upon roots and herbs, and lying in the open 
fields on the bare ground, or among the heath, sometimes 
but with one, other times with none to attend them, being 
uncertain whom to trust, in that frowning of fortune, when 
commonly there are but few that remain friends, and many 
become enemies; base minds seeking thereby either to avoid 
harm, or to gain favour of the stronger. At last finding that 
they were hotly hunted after, and followed hard, they thought 
it their safest way to go to the western isles. Lochlomond 
lay in their way, whither being come, and having found an 
old boat, Sir James (however expert in that art before) having 
learned so much by that great schoolmaster necessity, rowed 
his king over this lake in a night and half a day. Thus saith 
the manuscript, but it seemeth rather to have been some 


Other lake than Lochlomond, or rather some inlet of the sea 
(which are called sometimes lakes) between the main land 
and the isle in which they lurked; because Lochlomond is of 
no such breadth, as that it should be esteemed a great mat- 
ter to row over it in that space; and besides they did row to an 
isle where they did rest amongst our JEbudes, to none of 
which Lochlomond is adjacent. The Bruce' s book saith not, 
that they rowed through the lake to the isle, but through 
the lake to the next land, and then passed to the sea-side, 
where they provided boats in which they sailed to the isles. 
It attributes also this rowing to others than Sir James, though 
he were the first finder of the old boat. 

Thus it went with them, and to such an exigence was the 
hope of our country brought. Thus we see these great minds, 
and afterwards great men, in a base, poor, and perilous, but 
never miserable estate, (which virtue is not capable of) deso- 
late in itself, destitute of friends, and their first attempts 
dashed by the mean under-captains of their great enemy 
King Edward. But before they have done, they shall make 
his successor to fly in the like sort in a small fisher -boat, 
poorly accompanied, to save his own person, after the loss 
of his army. On such moments do the hopes and fears of 
mortal men depend, and such vicissitude is the estate of those 
glorious crowns subject unto, which men do so much affect 
with such travel and turmoil: as for them, it was not the 
crown only, but their liberty also that they suffered for; 
and not their own liberty alone, but the freedom of their 
country and patriots, which they sought to maintain a- 
gainst injustice, fraud, and violence. Wherefore we never 
hear that they fainted at any time, or despaired at any time 
in the midst of despair: such force hath a good cause in a 
good heart, the Author of goodness no doubt sitting at the 
rudder of that boat, and preserving the old boards of it, 
so that they gave no place to the violence of the waves, and 
their hearts from yielding to that despair that every way did 
assault them, until he had finished that work he had to do 
with them; for recovering the liberty of their country, and 



beating down the pride of tyranny, that he might in all this 
show his own might and prerogative, in casting down and set- 
ting up at his pleasure* Such hard beginnings have often- 
times the greatest works, and so little ought either hope or 
despair be grounded on the first success. 

Being landed on this little isle, which the Bruce's book 
calls Rachrine, (other authors name it not) they remained 
a while hidden there with a special friend of King Robert's; 
both the isle and the man being worthy of more express hon- 
our, and a perpetual memory of their names: he for his 
faithful friendship, the isle for its safe receipt, and harbour- 
ing so good guests, and their good luck after this receipt, 
their efforts from hence-forward having been almost ever 
prosperous. Their safety was^ (most part) in this, that men 
believed they were not safe; ceasing to seek those whom, 
they thought, had ceased to be, supposing them to have per- 
ished, because they appeared no where to the view of the 
world. Like example is long since recorded of Massinassa, 
King of Numidia; and their Lurking doth bring forth the 
same fruit and effects. 

But it was not fit for them to lurk too long: their friends 
might have been so discouraged, and losing hope, have for- 
saken the cause; whereby the work would have been the 
more difficult, if not impossible. Therefore to begin again 
afresh, the king obtains from his good friend some small 
company of men; and Sir James with forty of these (which. 
he got of the king) went and took the castle of Arran by a 
stratagem. A small, but happy flourishing of a better spring-, 
time, after that their tempestuous winter, which shall yield 
a full harvest, and bring forth the ripe fruit of liberty to their 
country, and the settling of the kingdom to his master, and 
his posterity, until these our days, and we hope for ever. 
Thither came the king also within two days, and hearing of 
them, Malcolm Earl of Lennox. These sailed from thence 
into Carrick, where they took a castle of the king's proper 
inheritance; but the writers do not name it. 

And here indeed the course of the king's misfortunes be- 


gins to make some halt and stay, by thus much prosperous 
success in his own person; but more in the person of Sir 
James, by the reconquests of his own castles and countries: 
From hence he went into Douglasdale, where by the means' 
of his father's old servant, Thomas Dickson, he took the 
castle of Douglas, and not being able to keep it, he caused 
burn it; contenting himself with this, that his enemies had 
one strength less in that country than before. The man- 
ner of his taking of it is said to have been thus: Sir James 
taking only with him two of his servants, went to Thomas 
Dickson, of whom he was received with tears, after be had 
revealed himself to him; for the good old man knew him 
not at first, being in mean and homely apparel. There hekept 
him secretly in a quiet chamber, and brought unto him such 
as had been trusty servants to his father, not all at once, but 
apart and by one and one, for fear of discovery. Their ad- 
vice was, that on Palm-sunday, when the English would 
come forth to the church, being a solemn holiday, he with 
his two servants should come thither apparelled like country 
taskers, with mantles to cover their armour, and when he 
should perceive that the English were in the church, and his 
partners were convened, that then he should give the word 
and cry the Douglas slogan, and presently set upon them 
that should happen to be there, who being dispatched, the 
castle might be easily taken. This being concluded, and 
they come, as soon as the English were entered into the 
church with palms in their hands, (according to the custom 
of that day) little suspecting or fearing any such thing; Sir 
James, according to their appointment, cried too soon, a 
Douglas! a Douglas! which being heard in the church, (this 
was St. Bride's church of Douglas) Thomas Dickson, suppos- 
ing he had been hard at hand, drew out his sword and ran 
upon them, having none to second him but another man; so 
that, oppressed with the multitude of his enemies, he was 
beaten down and slain. In the mean time Sir James being 
come, the Engl^\ that were in the chancel kept off the 
Scotch, and having, the advantage of the strait and narrow 


entry, defended themselves manfully, t But Sir James encour- 
aging his men, not so much by words as by deeds and good 
example, and having slain the boldest resisters, prevailed at 
last, and entering the place, slew some twenty-six of their 
number, and took the rest, about ten or twelve persons, in- 
tending by them to get the castle by composition, or to en- 
ter with them when the gates should be opened to let them 
in: but it needed not, for they of the castle were so secure, 
that there was none left to keep it save the porter and the 
cook, who knowing nothing of what had happened at the 
church, which stood a full quarter of a mile from thence, 
had left the gate wide open, the porter standing without, and 
the cook dressing the dinner within; they entered without 
resistance, and meat being ready, and the cloth laid, they 
shut the gates, and took their refreshment at good leisure. 

Now that he had got the castle into his hands, considering 
with himself (as he was a man no less prudent then valiant) 
that it was hard for him to keep it, the English being as 
yet the stronger in that country, who if they should besiege 
him, he knew of no relief; he thought it better to take a- 
way siich things as could be most easily carried, gold, silver, 
and apparel, with ammunition and armour, whereof he had 
the greatest use and need, and to destroy the rest of the pro- 
vision, together with the castle itself, than to diminish the 
number of his followers, for a garrison there where they 
could do good: and so he caused carry the meal and malt, 
and other corns and grain, into the cellar, and laid all toge- 
ther in one heap; then he took the prisoners and slew them, 
to revenge the death of his trusty and valiant servant Thomas 
Dickson, mingling the victuals with their blood, and burying 
their carcases in the heap of corn: after that he struck out 
the heads of the barrels and puncheons, and let the drink 
run through all, and then he cast the carcases of dead horses 
and other carrion amongst it, throwing the salt above all, so 
as to make altogether unuseful to the enemy; and this cellar 
is called yet the Douglas Larder. Last of all, he set the 
house on fire, and burnt all the timber and what else the 


fire could overcome, leaving nothing but the scorched walls 
behind him. As this seems to be the first taking of the cas- 
tle of Douglas, for it is supposed that he took it twice. For 
this service and others done to Lord William his father, Sir 
James gave unto Thomas Dickson the lands of Hisleside, 
which hath been given him before the castle was taken, as 
an encouragement to whet him on, and not after-, for he was 
slain in the church: which was both liberally and wisely done 
of him thus to hearten and draw men to his service by such 
a noble beginning. The castle being burnt, Sir James re- 
tired, and parting his men into divers companies, so as they 
might be most secret, he caused cure such as were wounded 
in the fight, and he himself kept as close as he could, wait- 
ing ever for an occasion to enterprize something against the 
enemy. So soon as he was gone, the Lord Clifford being 
advertised of what h°.d happened, came himself in person to 
Douglas, and caused re-edify and repair the castle in a very 
short time, unto which he also added a tower, which is yet 
called Harry's Tower, from him, and so returned into Eng- 
land, leaving one Thruswall to be captain thereof. 

Sir James' men being cured of their wounds, and refresh- 
ed with rest, he returned again to the king, at what time he 
was ready to fight with Sir Aimer Valence, the Lord of Lorn, 
and Sir Thomas Randulph, at Cumnock. The king had not 
above 400 men; so that being almost encompassed by the 
enemy before he was aware, he was forced to forsake the 
field, having lost his banner, which was taken by Sir Thomas 
Randulph, by which he got great credit with King Edward. 
King Robert in his flight or retreat divided his men into 
three companies, that went several ways, so that the enemy 
being uncertain in what company he himself were, and not 
knowing which to pursue first, he might the better escape. 
When they were all come again to their place of rendezvous, 
which the king had appointed when he divided them, Sir 
James Douglas persuaded the king to set upon a company of 
the enemies, who were very securely lying by themselves far 
from the body of the army, without fear of any danger; 


which the king did; and having slain 200 of them, he scatter- 
ed the rest. 

After this, Sir Aimer Valence (being then warden for King 
Edward in Scotland, and residing himself at Bothwell) sent 
Sir Philip Moubray, with a company of men about 100, into 
Kyle and Cunningham, to keep the inhabitants in their obed- 
ience to England; whereof when Sir James Douglas had no- 
tice, and knowing the way by which they must go (called 
Machanack's Way) he lay in a strait ford between two 
marshes, called Ederford, accompanied with some 40 choice 
men, and there rising up of a sudden before Sir Philip was 
aware, they routed his men, and chased himself, who did 
escape very narrowly, for he left his sword with them, and 
fled alone to Kilmarnock and Kilwinning, the rest back to 
Bothwell. This was before the battle of Lowdounhill, where 
both the king and Sir James were present, at which they de- 
feated Sir Aimer Valence and S0C0 men, they having only 
500; which Sir Aimer took so to heart, that he retired him. 
self into England, where he gave over his charge of warden, 
and never returned into Scotland again with any command, 
except it were when the king came in person. The English 
Chronicle says, that the king discharged Sir Aimer who was 
Earl of Pembroke, and placed John de Britton in his office, 
and made him Earl of Richmond. These particulars I can- 
not guess why they should have been omitted by our writers, 
being so remarkable defeats, where diligence, dexterity and 
valour have been used with wisdom and judgement. How- 
ever, upon this -withdrawing and departure of Sir Aimer 
Valence, King Rpbert being rid of the greatest danger, 
makes towards Inverness, leaving Sir James behind him, to 
recover such places as were still in the enemy's hands. He 
therefore getting him into Douglasdale, did use this stratagem 
against Thruswall captain of the castle of Douglas, under the 
Lord Clifford: he caused some of his folks drive away the 
cattle that fed near unto the castle; and when the captain 
of the garrison followed to rescue, gave order to his men to 
leave them, and to fly away. This he did often, to make 


the captain to slight such frays, and to make him secure, that 
he might not suspect any farther design to be in it: which 
when he had wrought sufficiently, as he thought, he laid 
some men in ambuscade, and sent others away to drive away 
such beasts as they should find in the view cf the cnsde, as 
if they had been thieves and robbers, as they had done often 
before. The captain hearing of it, and supposing there was 
no greater danger now than had been before, issued forth 
from the castle, and followed after them with such haste, that 
his men (running who should be first) were disordered and 
out of their ranks, the drivers also fled as fast as they could, 
till they had drawn the captain a little beyond the place of the 
ambuscade, which when they perceived, rising quickly out of 
their covert, set fiercely upon him and his company, and so 
slew himself, and chased his men back to the castle; some of 
which were overtaken and slain, others got into the castle* 
and so were saved: Sir James not being able to force the 
house, took what booty he could get without in the fields, 
and' so departed. By this means, and such other exploits, he 
so affrighted the enemy, that it was counted a matter of great 
jeopardy to keep this castle, which began to be called the ad- 
venturous or hazardous castle of Douglas; whereupon Sir John 
Walton being in suit of an English lady, she wrote to him 
that when he had kept the adventurous castle of Douglas 
seven years, then he might think himself worthy to be a 
suitor to her: upon this occasion Walton took upon him the 
keeping of it, and succeeded to Thruswall; but he ran the- 
same fortune with the rest that were before him. 

For Sir James, having first dressed an ambuscade near the 
place, he made fourteen of his men take so many sacks and 
fill them with grass, as though it had been corn, which they 
carried in the way toward Lanark, the chief market town in 
that county; so hoping to draw forth the captain by that 
bait, and either to take him or the castle, or both. 

^ Neither was this expectation frustrated, for the captain did 
bite, and came forth to have taken this victual, as he suppos- 
ed: but before he could reach these carriers, Sir James with 



his company had got between the castle and him; and these 
disguised carriers, seeing the captain following after them, 
did quickly cast off their upper garments, wherein thev had 
masked themselves, and throwing off their sacks mounted 
themselves on horseback, and met the captain with a sharp 
encounter, being so much the more amazed, as it was unlook- 
ed for: wherefore when he saw these carriers metamorphosed 
into warriors, and ready to assault him, fearing that which 
was, that there was some train laid for them, he turned a- 
bout to have retired to the castle, but there also he met with 
his enemies', between which two companies he and his whole 
followers were slain, so that none escaped: the captain after- 
wards being searched, they found (as it is reported) his 
mistress' letter about him. Then he went and took the cas- 
tle, but it is uncertain (say our authors) whether by force or 
composition. But it seems that the constable and those that 
were within had yielded it up without force, in regard that 
he used them so gently; which he would not have done, if he 
had taken it by violence: for he sent them all safe home to the 
Lord Clifford, and gave them also provision and money for 
their entertainment by the way. The castle which he had 
burned only before, now he razeth, and casts down the walls 
thereof to the ground. By these and the like proceedings, 
within a short while, he freed Douglasdale, Et rick-forest, and, 
Jedburgh-forest of the English garrisons and subjection. 

But Thomas Randulph, Alexander Stuart Lord of Bonkle, 
and Adam Gordon, being Englished Scots, concluded to ga- 
ther together their forces, and to expulse him out of these 
parts: now it fell so out, that Sir James, intending to lodge 
at a certain house upon the water of Line, and being come 
hither for that purpose, by chance all these three were lodged 
in the same house before he came, which drew on a skirmish 
betwixt them, in which Alexander Stuart Lord of Bonkle 
and Thomas Randulph were taken prisoners, and Adam Gor- 
don saved himself by flight. This piece of service was of no 
small importance, in regard of the good service done to the 
king by Thomas Randulph, both while the king lived, and 


after his death, when he was regent; which may all be ascrib- 
ed to Sir James, who conquered Randulph to the king's side. 
With these his prisoners, he went into the north, as far a*^ 
the Mearns, where he met the king returning from Inverness, 
of whom he was heartily welcomed, both for his own sake, 
and because he had brought with him his nephew Randulph, 
whom the king did chide exceedingly. And he again reprov- 
ed the king, out of his youthfulness and rash humour, as 
though he did defend the crown by flying, and not by fighting: 
wherefore he was committed to prison, thereafter pardoned; 
and being made Earl of Murray, he was employed in the 
kind's service. This is related in the Bruce's book, and hath 
nothing fabulous or improbable in it; and therefore it ought 
not to be slighted: especially seeing, as I am informed, the 
book was penned by a man of good knowledge and learning, 
named Mr. John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen; for which 
work he had a yearly pension out of the exchequer during 
his life, which he gave to the hospital of that town, to which 
it is allowed and paid still in our days. He lived in the reign 
of David, the second son and successor to King Robert 

Sir James was with the king at Inverourie, ten miles from 
Aberdeen, against John Cuming Earl of Buchan, who was 
there defeated on Ascension-day, in the year 1308. From 
thence Sir James went with him when he recovered Argyle; 
the lord whereof had once come into the king, but was now re- 
volted to the English side. And likewise at many more jour- 
nies and roads both in Scotland and England, Sir James did 
always accompany him. 

In the year 1 53 13 he took the castle of Roxburgh, called 
then Marchmont; whilst the king was busy about Dumfries, 
Lanark, Ayr, and other places, and while Sir Thomas Ran- 
dulph was lying at the castle of Edinburgh. The manner 
of his taking it was thus. About Shrovetide, which is a 
time of feasting and revelling, he with sixty more, having 
covered their armour with black, that they might not be dis- 
covered by the glittering thereof, went in the forenight to- 

44 blSTOr.Y OF THE 

ward the castle, and when they came near to it, they lay a- 
long and crept upon their hands and feet - through a bushy- 
piece of ground, till they were come close to the foot of the 
wall. Those that did watch upon the castle wall espied them; 
but the night being dark, and by reason of their creeping 
they took them to have been cattle: for they at the foot of 
the wall heard the watchmen, (there being two of them) 
saying the one to the other, My neighbour such a one, nam- 
ing him by his name, means to make good chear to-night, 
that he hath no care of his cattle, but leaves them thus in 
the fields all the night: to whom the other replied, He may 
make good chear this night, but if the Douglas come at them, 
he will fare the worse hereafter: and with this discourse they 
went their way. Sir James and his men having heard this 
conference, were very well pleased withal, and glad to be so 
mistaken: they laddered the walls with ladders of cords, 
made by one Simon of the Leadhouse, who was also the first 
that adventured to scale with them himself alone, both to try 
how they would hold unbroken, and to view what guard and 
watch was kept above. The man that stood centinel saw 
him well enough; but because there were no more with him, 
he gave no alarm, but stood watching to have catched him on 
the top of the ladder, thinking to have knocked him down, 
or to have tumbled him headlong over the wall; but the 
other prevented the danger, and leaping in nimbly upon him 
before he was aware, stabbed him with a knife, and threw 
him over the wall amongst his fellows, to whom he called to 
make l-r»ste up, assuring them the coast was clear: but before 
they could come up, another of the watch coming about, and 
perceiving a man on the wall, made towards him; but Simon 
dispatched him also. And now the rest of his companions 
were got up dso, who marching towards the hall, they found 
the English at their shroving, eating and drinking, piping and 
dancing. They entered the hall, he had but easy work of it, 
to do with them what he listed, being most of them drunk, 
and all of them unarmed; only the captain Guilluam de 
Fermes fled into the great; tower, being dangerously hurt 



With the shot of an arrow, where he remained safe all that 
night; but the next morning he yielded himself because of 
his wound, upon condition that his life should be safe, and 
his person safely set on English ground; which was willingly 
granted, and faithfully performed. But he lived not long af- 
ter, his wound being deadly and incurable. 

Thus was the wheel of worldly affairs which men call for- 
tune, so whirled abouc by the king and his partners, that in 
the year 1313, being the seventh from his coronation, and 
the fifth or sixth from the beginning of the course of his 
victories, there was not one strength remaining in the posses- 
sion or power o^ the English, save Dumbarton castle, (which 
was afterwards yielded up by John Monteith upon composi- 
tion) and Stirling, which at that present time was besieged 
by Edward Bruce the king's brother. To relieve Stirling 
and to raise the siege thereof, king Edward II. came in pro- 
per person, and thereon ensued the battle of Bannockbnrn, 
a battle so famous and memorable, as few the like have hap- 
pened in any age, where there were two kings present, the 
odds so great, and the defeat so notable. The English kine 
did bring into the field all that he was able to make, not only 
of English, but of his foreign dominions; neither of those 
that were his own subjects only, but he was also aided and 
assisted by his friends and confederates, in Flanders, Holland 
Zealand, Brabant, Picardy, Gascony, Normandy, Guiennie, 
Bullonois and Bourdeaux: of these, and his own countrymen, 
he had in all 150,000 fighting men; to place them in the 
middle number, which some say was but half the number 
and that he had 300,000 of 'he whole, in equal proportion 
of foot and horse, intending to have exterminated the whole 
nation of Scots, with so confident a presumption of victory, 
that he brought with him a Carmelite friar (a poet according 
to the time) to commit his triumphs to writing: he was defeat- 
ed by 30,000 or 35,000 at the most, as all agree; and that 
in a plain and open field, where there were slain of his men 
50,000. It was fought the 22d of June, 1314. 

Sir James being present at this battle, did carry himself so 


before the fight, in the fight, and after it, as that his be- 
haviour is not slightly slipped over with a dry foot, as we say, 
but particularly to be noted, both for his own honour (for 
it is indeed worthy of perpetual honour and praise) and for 
a pattern to be followed by others, especially by all such as 
set their hearts and minds to follow virtue, and to seek true 
glory which ariseth from virtue. Before the battle we have 
his kindness, love, and care of his friend, or, as some will 
have it, his emulous competitor, joined with true magnani- 
mity in his demeanour towards Thomas Randulph: for King 
Robert having sent Randulph with 500 horse to oppose the 
Lord Clifford with 800, who was making towards the castle 
of Stirling; Sir Jan\es, careful of his friend in respect of this 
odds in number, first very orderly sought leave of the king 
to go to his succour; but after the king had refused him, he 
went out without leave; which, though it were a kind of 
breach of military discipline, yet it shows how dearly he loved 
the man, that for his sake he would thus transgress the order 
of the war, and to take his hazard of the king's displeasure, 
rather than to forsake him in this great danger as he took it 
to be. And as he showed his love and kindness in this (a 
virtue of great price, and greatly to be commended) so did 
lie also his modesty, courtesy and magnanimity, all three con- 
curring in one fact, and much more commendable, in that he, 
seeing his friend to have the better of the enemy, stood aloof 
as a spectator, for fear to impair his glory in that victory, by 
being a sharer with him therein. Weak minds seek to parti- 
cipate of other men's glory, and for want of worth in them- 
selves, thrust in with others. Base and mean spirits are wont 
to lessen and diminish the actions of others, because thejr 
have no hope to equal them. Malignant dispositions envy 
them, and approve of nothing but what is their own, and 
would have it thought that they only are able to do all things, 
and that none besides them can do any thing. As these vices 
were far from this man, so should they be as hr from all 
others; and as the contrary virtues did shine in him, so let 


them also do in us. And thus he behaved himself before 
the battle. 

In the battle he, with Randulph, had the leading of the 
vanguard, wherein he discharged himself so well, that for his 
good service he was knighted in the field. This honour in 
those days was given for desert, and was a badge and seal of 
valour, not of favour or riches, as now it is for the most part: 
neither was it so ordinary or common as now it is, and by 
commonness prostituted as it were and disesteemed. But that 
it was in great esteem of old it appears by this, that notwith- 
standing this man's predecessors, and himself also, as Ids evi- 
dences do witness, were barons and lords, yet he thinks it no 
disparagement to be knighted, and did choose rather to be 
known and designed by that title than the other; so as he was 
commonly called Sir James Douglas, rather than Lord Doug- 
las. And indeed we have found that even princes and kings 
have taken upon them this order, not as any diminution of 
their place, but an addition of honour, seeing by it they 
were received into the number and 'rank of military men 
and warriors, their other title shewing more their dominion 
and power, or place, than their valour and courage. Where- 
fore we read how Edward Prince of Wales was knighted 
when he was sent against King Bruce; so Henry II. being 
then prince of England, received the honour of knighthood 
from David King of Scotland, his grand-uncle, as from one that 
was the worthiest man in his time. Then it was that he took 
his oath, that he should never take from the crown of Scot- 
land the counties of Northumberland, Westmoreland, Cum- 
berland and Huntingdon. This ceremony was performed with 
great solemnity and pomp in those days, as our writers ob- 
serve: so honourable was it then; and of late it was thought 
so too; for the Earl of Clanrikart, chief of the Bourks in Ire- 
land, having done a piece of notable service to Queen Eliza- 
beth at the siege of Kinsale, and at an encounter between the 
lord deputy's army with the Irish rjebais, was knighted by 
the Lord Montjoy, then general lieutenant for the queen; 
neither should any abuse discredit it now. Nor can it dirrihiisa 


the honourableness thereof in our Sir James, who is able to 
honour it rather by his worth. 

After the battle he is as diligent, as he was both diligent 
and valorous in it. This is a virtue which hath been want- 
ing in great commanders, and hath been marked as a great 
defect in them. It was told Hannibal, that great Carthagin- 
ian, to his face, thou canst obtain, but not use a victory, nor 
prosecute it to thy best advantage. Sir James did not so, but 
as far as he was able, with such companions as he could gather 
together, and with as much speed as was possible for him, he 
followed King Edward to have done him service, though his 
father Edward I. would have none of it, and set it at nought. 
But he was gone before Sir James' service came to the best: now 
he would gbdly have shown what it was worth to his son and 
successor, the second Edward, in most humble sort, though 
it had been to have pulled off his boots, no question, but his 
majesty had no mind to stay for him, who notwithstanding 
made all the haste he could to have overtaken him, and fol- 
lowed him with four hundred horse, more than forty miles 
from Bannockburn, to Dunbar castie, into which he was re- 
ceived, and so escaped. The next was to wait upon him in 
his way to Berwick, which he did: but the king nothing well 
pleased with the service he had done, and expecting rather 
worse than better, seeing his importunity, and that otherwise 
he could not be rid of him, went by sea to Berwick in a small 
fisher-bcat or two, with a very thin train to attend him; not 
unlike unto Xerxes, who a little before was so proud of his 
huge army, is now become the scorn of his contemned and 
threatened enemies, a spectacle of pride, and an example of 
presumptuous confidence unto all ages. We told before how 
his father had driven King Robert and Sir James to the like 
shifts and straits: but theirs was not so shameful. A Christ- 
mas feast may be quit at Easter, says our proverb, which they 
do here verify by this requital, and this was all the service 
Sir James could do to King Edward at this time: bat after- 
wards we shall hear what service he shall do, if not to him,- 


self, yet to bus son Edward III. at Stanhope Park, some few 
years after this. 

In the mean time, let us behold our Scots, enjoying their 
renowned and honourable victory, which cannot be denied to 
have been such, nor cannot be by envy itself, Their spoil 
and prey was very great and rich, their prisoners many, and 
their ransoms proportionable. The Queen (King Robert's wife) 
was restored by exchange, and for her an English nobleman 
set free without ransom: and as their joy was great, and their 
gaining not small, so was both the grief of the English, their 
shame and their losses. There were slain of note in the field 
two hundred knights, together with the Earl of Gloucester, 
and Sir Giles of Argentine, whose death was lamented by 
Jving Robert very much, and of prisoners very near as many, 
of which the chief were the Earl of Hartford, who fled to Both- 
well, and was received by Sir Gilbert Gilbaston captain there- 
of, as the Bruce's book says, Sir John Segrave, John Clatten- 
grave (perhaps Cattcngrave) William Latimer, Sir Robert 
Northbrook, lord keeper of the broad seal, and Sir Ralph Mor- 
timer, who had married the king's sister, Mortimer was demit- 
ted ransom free, and obtained the king's broad seal at Bruce's 
hands. These and many other prisoners of divers nations thus 
dismissed, are as many witnesses of the Scottish valour in the 
fight, and of their mildness and humanity after it, who used 
these their so spiteful enemies no worse, who, if they had 
overcome, would have used another kind of cruelty, as they 
had both determined and threatened unto them. 

Amongst other foreigners, there were two Holland knights, 
who being in King Edward's army before the battle, and hear- 
ing the bravery and brags of the English, and their spiteful 
railings against King Robert, had wished him good luck. 
These were turned out of the English camp, and sent unto 
the Scottish, bidden in scorn to go and fight with them whom 
they wished so well, with a price set upon their heads to him 
that should either kill or take them prisoners in the battle. 
Their heads nevertheless were safe, and themselves did par- 
take of the good fortune they had wished; and when they 


50 History of the 

came home into their own country > they 4 built a lodging, nam- 
ing it Scotland, upon which they set up the Scottish arms, 
and King Robert's statue in Antwerp, as a monument of that 
notable victory; Which remained there many years after. The 
Carmelite also changed his note, singing their victory, whose 
overthrow he came to set forth, and chaunting their discom- 
fiture, whose praises he was hired to proclaim. Thus he be- 
gan this ditty. 

With barreh verse this mournful rhyme I make, 
And dm btit laugh t at, white such theme I take. 

Let us here consider the means and Ways of both sides, wfe 
shall find on the one side confidence of their power, and a 
contempt and slighting of the enemy, which seldom falls Well, 
because from thence there ariseth commonly sloth, negligence, 
disorder, and confusion: on the other side, we may see care- 
fulness, diligence, order, and exhortation; all possible means 
used, both human and divine: wisdom joined with religion 
and prayer, and what pious forms were then in use. They 
digged trenches and ditches, which they covered with greeft 
turf, for the horsemen to fall into, artd did knit together and 
twist as it were a net of cross ropes to entangle the footmen: 
which stratagems being seconded with true courage* resolu- 
tion, and valour of the common soldiers and commanders, to- 
gether with the device of those that were set to keep the bag- 
gage, the scullions and grooitis, who made shews and musters^ 
as if they had been another army, of their own head, without 
the direction of any, were the chief means of the victory: fof 
the first was the overthrow of the men at arms, and barbed 
horses, and the second the bane of the middle battle of th£ 
English, who seeing this trap laid for them, fled presently, 
and turned their backs. But above all these, the principal 
and prime cause was even the Lord of Hosts, Who guiJcd all 
these, and gave success unto them. Let no mortal man eve? 
think otherwise of any of his enterprises, or that any man, how- 
*Vei- wise, provident, or valorous, can ase hia wisdem, provi*- 


denee, or valour, or whatever other virtue he hath, to any 
purpose, or successfully, unless it he given him in the very 
instant of using it. A lesson much inculcated, but little learn- 
ed; often approved by experience, but seldom marked, or 
soon forgotten; at least little appearing by our practice; and 
which doth produce no other effect but a superficial acknow- 
ledgement, and slender confesssion thereof. 

But to return to our Douglas: though the king himself did 
thus escape his service, yet out of all doubt he hath been em- 
ployed against his subjects, seeing Our historians do tell us, 
that after this battle there were divers incursions made into 
England* for which they never stirred, but sat quiet for two 
or three years: however there are no particulars set down. 

In the year 1 3 16, King Robert Bruce went into Ireland; 
to support his brother Edward Bruce, made king of Ireland, 
and King Edward of England, thinking this a fit opportunity 
for him to be revenged on the Scots, did levy a great army, 
and came to the borders of Scotland, hoping to do some not-* 
ablg exploit now in the king's absence. But many things fait 
that are intended; and princes as well as others may be disap- 
pointed of the purposes, and their hopes frustrated. It 
seems he had forgotten, or not well considered what a lieu- 
tenant he had left behind him, and how good a second Sir 
James had always been to his master the king. But however 
he knew it not perhaps, or would not take any notice of him;, 
yet King Robert knew it full well, and put such trust and 
confidence in his well known worth and sufficiency, that he 
durst go abroad out of his own kingdom, and hazard himself 
and the flower of his army in Ireland, trusting the coun- 
try unto his care and conduct, leaving him governor in his 
absence; and entailing the crown unto him, next unto Thomas 
Randulph, by making him protector of the young king dur- 
ing his minority, ii be himself should happen to die in that voy- 
age, as the black book of S.cooi: doth witness. And indeed Sir 
James did not deceive the king's expectation and trust; neither 
did King Edward find him asleep, but watchful and diligent 
ia his charge, as became a good governor: for he raised an 


army to give him battle, and put both him and his people to 
flight, slew three notable captains with his own hand, Sir Ed- 
ward Lillow a Gascon, captain of Berwick; others call him 
Callock, and say that he was slain at the rescue of a booty 
which he had taken in the Merse and Teviotdale; which nar- 
ration agreeth with the Bruce's book, which calls him Ed- 
mond de Callock. The second was Sir Robert Nevil, and 
the third a nobleman whom they do not name, only they say 
that Sir James slew him with his own hand: but the Bruce's 
book calls him John de Richmond, and says he slew him in 
Jedburgh Forest, in the midst of his army, Sir James having 
very few with him, not above fifty horse, and some archers, 
in a strait cleugh or valley, between two hills, which he had 
of purpose taken as a place of advantage; and tying together 
the young birch trees by their boughs, in the way by which 
the English were to pass, the horsemen being entangled in 
the thickets, he set upon them and defeated them. From 
hence it is that some think the Earls of Douglas and Angus 
have stakes and rice in their coats of arms; yet such points of 
heraldry are hard to interpret and give a reason for them. 
This was the second piece of service that he did to King Ed- 
ward himself, say some others; but others say that the king 
was not there in person, but sent a great army, commanded 
by divers captains, with whom Sir James fought in three se- 
veral battles, at three sundry times, and slew all their chief- 
tains, with most part of their companies. Others again af- 
firm, that in every one of those battles he slew the command- 
er with his own hand, in sight of both armies, the which, 
whatsoever way it was, the victory was notable and glorious.. 
And thus did he govern in the king's absence. 

He had been a good subject before, when the king was pre- 
sent, now we see how well he governs when he is absent, and 
at his return laying down his authority, and returning to his 
former subjection, he proves as good a companion and col- 
league unto Thomas Randulph, (then made Earl of Murray) 
with whom the king did join him for the prosecuting of the 
wars. It is seldom found that these virtues are so happily. 


linked together in one person, ability to govern, and willing-* 
ness to be subordinate and obey; excellency of parts, and pa- 
tient enduring of an equal and companion. I have often ob- 
served and admired it in these two, the ground whereof 
seems chiefly to have been in Sir James his love and modesty, 
as we observe in his carriage towards this man at Bannock- 
burn, that in all their joint services, being equal in authority, 
and both commanding in chief, we never hear of any ques- 
tion, controversy, or debate, of any grudging or heart-burn- 
ing between them, but find them ever agree and concur, 
without any dissension or variance, with one heart and mind, 
as if they had been one man in all business whatsoever. 

Their first association, after the king's return out of Ire- 
land, was when they went and burnt Northallerton and Bur T 
rowbridge, and spoiled Rippon, where they spared the church, 
only they caused those that fled thither to pay 5000 merks 
sterling to be free. They burnt also Scarborough town, and 
hearing that the people had fled into the woods with their 
goods and cattle, they went and searched them out, and 
brought away a great booty. • Then returning home by Skip- 
ton in Craven, they spoiled the town, and after burnt it with- 
out resistance. This was in the year 1 3 1 S, in May. 

The next was in the year following, 1319, when king Ed- 
ward, having gathered an army, lay before Berwick. These 
two entered England as far as Milton, which is within twelve 
miles of York, where the Archbishop of York, and the Bishop 
of Ely, chancellor, made head against them; in which conflict- 
there were 4000 English slain, amongst whom was the Mayor 
of York, and a thousand drowned in the water of Swail; and 
if the night had not come in too soon, the battle being joined 
in the afternoon, few or none of them had escaped, as it is 
thought. It is called the battle of Milton or Swail, or the 
white battle, because there were a number of priests slain at 
it; probably they have been apparelled in their surplices. 

Hollinshed in his Chronicle of England relateththe manner 
how it was done: he says, that as the Englishmen passed over 
the water of Swail, the Scots set fire upon certain stacks of 


hay, the smoke whereof was so huge, that the English might 
not see where the Scots lay. And when the English were 
once got over the water, the Scots came upon them with 
a wing in good order of battle, in fashion like to a shield, ea- 
gerly assailing their enemies, who were easily beaten down and 
discomfited. Many were drowned, by reason that the Scotg 
had got betwixt the English and the bridge; so that the 
English fled betwixt that wing of the Scots, and the main bat- 
tle, which had compassed about the English on the one side, 
as the wing did upon the other. The king of England in* 
formed of this overthrow, broke up his siege immediately, 
and returned to York, and the Scots home into their own 

Their third expedition was that same year at Hallowtide, 
when the northern borders of England had gotten in their 
corn, and their barns were well stuffed with grain, which was 
their provision for the whole year. They entered England, 
and burnt Gilsland, took divers prisoners, and drave away all 
the cattle they could find. Then they went to Brough un- 
der Stanmore, and returned by Westmoreland and Cumber- 
land, with great booty and spoil, none offering to make head 
against them. 

The fourth was in the year 1322, when the king of Eng- 
land, grieved with these invasions, having complained to the 
Pope, had purchased a legate to be sent into Scotland, to ad- 
monish King Robert to desist from further disquieting the 
re?lm of England; and because he would not obey, he, with 
Sir James Douglas and Thomas Randulph, were accursed by 
the two cardinals, the Archbishop of Canterbury and York, 
and all the priests in England every day thrice at mass. These 
two, Sir James Douglas and Randulph (some say the king 
himself) following the legate at the heels, as it were, entered 
England, little regarding their cursings, and wasted the coun- 
try to the Redcross, and coming to Darlington at the feast of 
Epiphany, staid there a while for gathering of booty, and de- 
stroying the country; the Lord Douglas on the one hand, and 
the Lord Stewart of Scotland on the other; the one going to- 


wards Hartelpool and Caveland, and the other towards Rich- 
mond. The inhabitants of Richmondshire, having no cap- 
tains to defend them, gave a great sum of money (as at other 
times they had done) to have their country saved from fire 
and spoil. These adventurers staid fifeteen days in England, 
and returned -without battle. It is said that the knights of the 
north came to the duke of Lancaster, then lying at Pomfret, 
and offered to go into the field with him against the Scot?, 
but he refused; whether by reason of the discord between him 
and King Edward, or for sortie other occasion, I know not. 

At this time it is, that the king gives to Sir James Douglas 
a bounden charter of Douglasdale, dated apud Bcrvicum su- 
per tucdam, anno regni nostri dccimo quinto, which is either 
the year 1320 or 1322, the first of April. It bears, Jacobo 
de Dou«las t jilio et kceredi Gulielmi Douglas militis, which 
decides the question of his age, and his brother Hugh's, who 
outlived Sir James twelve or thirteen years, and calls himself 
his heir, as shall be shown. It hath also this clause, Volumus 
insuper y §c. We will also, and grant, for us and our heirs, 
that the said James and his heirs shall have the said lands 
free, ab omnibus prisiis y $- petitionibus quibuscunquc ita quod 
nullns rainistrorum nostrorum in aliquo se intromlitat infra 
dicias divisas: nisi tantum de articulis special iter ad cor on- 
am ttostram pertinentibus. 

To return, King Edward conceived such discontent, and 
Was so grieved at this so wasting of his kingdom, that he gave 
orders to levy an army of 100,000, to enter Scotland at Lain* 
mas, whereof King Robert being advertised, entered England 
near to Carlisle, and burnt some towns which belonged to 
King Edward's own inheritance, spoiled the monastery of 
Holm, where his father's corps was interred. Hither the 
Earl of Murray and Sir James Douglas came to him with 
another army; whereupon marching further southward, tbey 
came to Preston in Anderness, and burnt all that town ah.o, 
except the college of the Minorites. This was fourscore 
miles within England from the borders of Scotland; then 
they returned wi.:h their prisoner-; and booty to Caidisle,. 


Where they staid fourteen days, wasting and destroying 
all about with fire and sword; and so they returned into Scot- 
land on St. James's day, having remained within England 
three weeks and three days, without any opposition or resist- 
ance. They were not long at home when King Edward en- 
tered into Scotland with his army, and passed to Edinburgh, 
but, for want of victuals, (which were conveyed out of the 
way of purpose by King Robert's command and direction) he 
was forced to make a retreat, and go home the way he came, 
having discharged his anger on what he could meet with 
in his return. But he was quickly followed by the two col- 
leagues, Sir James and Randulph, who entered England, 
burnt Northallerton with other towns and villages as far as 
York; and overtaking the king at the Abbey of Biland, gave 
him battle, and defeated him. There was taken John Brit- 
ton Earl of Richmond, who had also the Earldom of Lancas- 
ter; he being ransomed for a great sum of money, passed over 
into France, where he remained, and never came back again 
into England. The English Chronicle, to excuse this defeat, 
lays the blame hereof upon Andrew Harcla Earl of Carlisle, 
whom they say Sir James Douglas corrupted with money; 
upon which pretext Karcla was executed, suffering, good 
gentleman, to cover other men's faults. It doth me good to 
hear Mr. John Major answer the English writers in his round 
and substantial manner: it is but a dream, saith he, and spok- 
en without all likelihood; • for neither were the Scots ever so 
flush and well stored with money as to corrupt the English; 
neither was that the custom of good Sir James Douglas, a va- 
liant warrior, who did what he did, not with gold, but with 
sharp steel. The Earl of Carlisle also died without confess- 
ing any such thing. Some write that King Robert was there 
in person; but it is more likely that he was not, but sent these 
two, of whom we have spoken: however, if he was there, 
these two were with him. At this battle Sir James took 
three French knights, Robert Bartrame, William Bartar- 
home, Elye Anyallagc, with their valets; for whose relief the 
king of France requested King Robert, and he, willing to 


please him, transacted with Sir James, to give him for their 
ransom 4000 merks sterling, for payment of a part of which 
sum, the king giveth to him the next year apparently the 
following charter. 

The Douglas Emrauld Charter. 

Indictamenta latrociniorum, et ministrationem eorundem 
in omnibus i infra omnes terras suas subscriptas: scilicet in- 
fra. 1. Baroniam de Douglas. 2. Forrestiam nostram de Sel- 
kirk, de qua est ofjiciarius noster. 3. Const abidarium de 
Lauderio. 4. Forrestiam de Jedburgh cum Bofijedxvorth. 
5. Baroniam de Batherule. 6. Baroniam de Wester- Cal den 
7. Baroniam de St abilgor thane. 8. Baroniam de Romanok. 
Then in general, Et infra suas terras quascunque, infra reg- 
num nostrum, cum pertincntibus, quas de nobis tenet in ca* 
pile. Then follows the Privilege. 

F.t si aliqui de hommibus suis, ivfra prosdictas terras, fu- 
erintjudicati per justitiarium nostrum; volumus quod, dictus 
Jacobus, et heredes sui, et eorum ministri habeant liberation- 
em, et liberam eorundem ministrationem; salv's nobis et he- 
redibus nostris omnibus aliis particidis ad homicidium et co- 
ronam nostram pertinent ibus. Tenend.a et habenda prcedic- 
ta indictamenta, cum administratione eorundem, et cum omni- 
bus libertatibus, commodiiatibus ad prcedicta indictamenta et 
administrationem eorundem pertinent ibus, prafato Jacobo, et 
heredibus suis infeudo et hereditate in pcrpetuum de nobis 
et heredibus nostris. 

Volumus insuper et concedimus pro nobis et heredibus nos- 
tris, quod prcefatus Jacobus et heredes sui, et eorum homines* 
infra preedictas terras manentes, liberi sint in fvturum de 
sectis curice, de omnibus t err is supradicfis, et de xvardis cas- 
trorum, nee non de omnibus presis, talliagiis curiagiis et cap- 
tionibus quibuscunque ad opus nostrum, et hercdum nostro- 
rzim, salvo tan turn communi auxilio pro defensione regni nos- 
tri contingente. 

Ft ut prcesens chart a robur firmitatis obtineat in perpttw- 


58 hkvtory or the 

7/;/?, manwn cjusdem Jacobi, amiulo, cum quod am lapidc qui 
diciiur EmerauJus eide'm Jacobo, et her ed thus suis, nomine 
sasincr, in memorials permansuro infutiirum ex manu nostra 
pcrsonaliter investimus. Apud Bervicum super Twedam oc- 
tavo die mensis Novejnbris, anno regni nostri decimo nono y 
anno Domini 1325. 

Then there is a precept directed to Bernard Abbot of A-* 
berbrothock, chancellor, to cause make a charter thereof, un- 
der the broad seal, and deliver it to the said James. This I 
thought good to set down in its own words, because of the 
singularity, in that it is the promise of a king fulfilled to his 
subject, not for any proper debt or money "disbursed, but for. 
the ransom of prisoners. 2. It is singular also, in respect of 
the thing given, indictments, immunities, liberties, and privi- 
leges. 3. The form and manner of it is not ordinary, to 
hold infeudo and inheritance, without any duty, or redden- 
do^ as they speak. 4. And last of all, the manner of infeft- 
ment and seisin, not by earth and stone, but by putting a 
ring on his finger with the king's own hand, and thereby in- 
fefting both himself and his heirs, as it should seem, in this 
one action, without reiterating. All which things, how our 
lawyers will allow of, considering their formalities, and what 
their opinion will be of the validity thereof, I know not: but 
we find here plain and square dealing, and honourable mean- 
ing: whatsoever the subtilities and quirks of law be, we see an 
upright and loving prince, a liberal and bountiful king, will- 
ing to honour a princely loyal subject. 

This and the former charter given four years before, and 
such others as may be thought to have been given after, to 
corroborate or increase, perhaps, these freedoms and privi- 
leges, on which Archibald the Fourth and his successors have 
leaned and trusted to, in contemning Crichton and Living- 
ston, at what time they told them, they would preserve their 
own rights and privileges, and not suffer them to be infringed. 
And this also hath been the ground upon which the baillies 
of William the eight carl, he being himself in Italy, would 


not suffer the king's officers to meddle with these privileged 
things in his bounds, which men, that know not their immu- 
nities, particularly account treason and rebellion; and so their 
enemies did term it to incense the king against them. 

This battle at Billand was the last piece of service that Sir 
Jamgs did to Edward Carnarvan, who having found fortune 
so froward to him in chance of war against the Scots, was 
thereby taught to doubt the trial thereof any further; and 
therefore he sued for peace, which was concluded at New-' 
castle, to last for certain years. In this time of peace, although 
all occasion of warlike action was cut off, yet Sir James was 
not idle, but did good offices for his king and country. King 
Robert did esteem so well of him, and had so good- opinion, 
of his prudence and fidelity, and did so confide in his love, 
that he entrusted and employed him in the greatest business 
that ever he could have to do, which concerned no less than 
the settling of his crown, and his title to the kingdom, which 
Sir James performed dexterously and happily. 

For being sent into France to John Baliol. of Hercourt, to 
procure his resigning all title and right to the crown in ICing 
Robert's favour, he sailed into Normandy; and having de- v 
clared his commission, and delivered his message, he found 
Baliol very tractable, contrary to airmen's expectation; for he 
plainly and ingeniously confessed, that he had been deserved- 
ly rejected, being noways useful nor profitable for the good 
of Scotland. lie said likewise, that it was God's special and 
favourable providence that had advanced King Robert there- 
unto; and therefore he did not repine nor grudge to see the. 
kingdom in the hands of his cousin, by whose high virtue, 
singular felicity, and great travel, it was restored to the an- 
cient liberty, splendour and magnificence, but rather rejoiced 
thereat: and chiefly for that they, by whom he was deceived, 
did not enjoy the hoped fruits, of their fraud. And calling 
together his friends and kinsmen, in presence of them all, he 
did freely resign unto R.obert, and to his heirs, all right and 
title that he, or any from, of by him, had, or might have to. 
ihe crown of Scotland., renouncing all interest and claim what- 


soever that could be alledged or pretended for any cause or 
consideration, from the beginning of the world unto that pre- 
sent day, This being done, Sir James returned into Scotland. 
This King Robert thought fit to be done, not because his 
own title was not good enough before, for it was good already 
and sufficient, and so found to be by a better judge than 
King Edward of England, to wit, the estates of the realm, 
who are the propercst judges in controversies of this nature, 
and who had power to have made it good, if it had not 
been so, and might have helped any defect that had been 
in it, seeing Baliol by his own deed had disabled himself, by 
giving it over to King Edward, especially seeing it was pre- 
judicial, and against the common liberty and good of the king- 
dom, to accept of him who had betrayed these, and was not 
able to defend them. Wherefore King Robert being in pos- 
session, and the kingdom being confirmed to him, and to his 
posterity, he needed no further right from Baliol. Notwith- 
standing of this, to cut away all pretences of quarrels and 
calumnies that malicious men might surmise thereabout after- 
wards, he thought good to have a renunciation from Baliol of 
his title, and consolidate that with his own: whereupon es- 
teeming none fitter for the purpose than Sir James, as well 
fcr the honourable place he held, as for his sufficiency to dis- 
charge the commission, not without some consideration of 
his kindred with Baliol, by the house of Galloway, he laid 
the charge upon him, which he performed as we have heard. 

Sir James being thus returned out of France, King Robert 
being very glad that his business had succeeded so well, called 
a parliament at Cambuskenneth, in which the right of succes- 
sion to the crown was renewed to King Robert's heirs, and 
namely (failing his son David) to Marjory Bruce his daughter, 
and Robert Stewart her son. This the nobility did enacfc 
;uid confirm by oath in the year 1325 or 1326, and before 
the sending of Sir James Douglas, as some authors record. 

Not long after, King Robert fell sick, and partly for that 
cause, partly in regard of his age, not being able to ride a- 
£road and endure travel himself, he committed the managing 


of all business of weight both in peace and war to his two 
friends and colleagues, Sir James and Randulph, two of the 
most noble knights and bravest captains that were in their 
days, as our writers do say. And now Edward II. was dead, 
and Edward III. had succeeded to him, to whom Sir James 
laboured to do as good service, as he had done to his father. 
This Edward sent ambassadors to King Robert to treat of 
peace; but being discovered to have no sincere meaning, and 
to deal fraudulently; instead of peace they carried home war. 
So due preparation being made on both sides, our two com- 
manders assembled to the number of 20,000, all horsemen, 
some say 20,000 horse and 5000 foot, and entered into Eng- 
land, with resolution not to fight but at their advantage and 
and pleasure, which was the reason they took all or most part 
horsemen, and few or no footmen. Against these King Ed- 
ward came in person, with a great army of 100,000 men, as 
Froysard writes, 80,000 horse, 24,000 archers, having brought 
with him the Lord Beaumont out of the Low Countries with 
700 or 500 horse. The English soldiers of this army were 
cloathed in coats and hoods, embroidered with flowers and 
branches, and used to nourish their beards; wherefore the 
Scots in derision thereof, made this rhyme, and fastened it up- 
pn the church-door of St. Peter in the Cannongate. 

Beards heartless, painted hoods witless, 

Gay coats graceless, make England thriftless. 

He fortified the towns of Carlisle and Berwick, and furnish- 
ed them with men to stop the Scots passage. But they, little 
regarding either his fortifications, or his forces, passed the 
water of Tyne at known fords, and made him first know of 
their arrival by fire and smoke; whereupon putting his men 
in order, he marched directly towards those places that were 
smoaking, to have given them battle; but not finding them 
there, and not knowing how to force them to light, his resol- 
ution was to pass Tyne, and there to intercept them at th'eir 
return, and to give them battle in those fields^ were the. 


ground was more level and even, and so litter for his army. 
Thither then he goeth, with great trouble both of men and 
horse, by reason of the great rain that fell, as also for scarcity 
of victuals; and after he had staid there eight days waiting for 
them, he could hear no news of them; wherefore he chose 
out about sixteen able young men, whom he sent abroad into 
the country to search for them, promising a great reward to 
him that should first bring him word where they were. They 
having roved up and down the country, at last one of them 
fell into the hands of the Scots, who, when he had told how 
Kin*? Edward had sent him to search for them, they let him 
go, and withal bade him tell the king, that they had been eight 
days as uncertain of him, as he had been of them, and that 
now they were come within three miles of him, where they 
would stay for him, and abide him battle, being as desirous to 
fight as he was. When the young man told the king this, 
he was rewarded with knighthood, being made such by his 
own hand; and, besides that, he got 150 pound land to main- 
tain his dignity. Then he gave order that his army should 
march towards them; but when they came near, they found 
them so strongly encamped upon a hill, having steep rocks at 
the one side, and a river on the other, called by Hollinshed 
the water of Weir, that they durst not adventure to assail them 
at so great disadvantage: wherefore they sent a trumpet to 
them, and desired them to come down to the plain ground, 
and so to fight with true virtue, for honour and empire, and 
not to sit on the tops of hills, where no person could come at 
them. The Scots answered with derision, that they would 
fight not how and when it please I their enemy, but at their, 
own pleasure; telling him withal, that they were come into 
his country, and had done as he knew; if any thing that they 
had done did grieve him, he might come and seek his re- 
venge; they would stay there as long as they thought fit 
and expedient for them; and if any should assail them, they 
would do what they could to defend themselves, and make 
their enemies smart. So they staid there three days in his, 
tiew; but he not thinking it stfe to assail them in that place a 

house of douglas. $3 

after some Few skirmishes at their watering place, the Scots 
removed their camp to another place that was stronger and 
harder of access, which Hollinshed calls Stanhope-park, 
whither the English also followed them. "While they lay 
there encamped, the one over against the other, Sir James 
Douglas, who was a provident and watchful captain, perceiv- 
ing that the English watches were somewhat negligently kept 
(either because they despised the small number of the ScotSj 
or for that they thought they had no mind to fight, but to re- 
tire) adventured upon a hazardous but hardy and worthy en- 
terprise. He did choose out two hundred of the choicest of 
his men, and passing the river in the night, a little off from 
the English camp, he entered the enemies trenches on that 
side they least expected, and approached the king's tent, 
thinking either to have taken, or to have slain him: but the 
king's chaplain being awake, discovered him, whom he slew 
with his own hand for his pains: and now the alarm was giv- 
en, and the whole army was up against him: wherefore having 
only cut the king's tent-ropes, he returned safe in spite of 
them, leaving three hundred of them slam in the place, who 
offered to hinder his retreat. Upon this show and omen of 
success and good fortune, Thomas Randolph would have 
given battle in the fields; but Sir James advised him other- 
wise, showing him how it was not for them, being so few in 
number, to deal with so great an army in the open and plain 
fields,but that their only way was to use sleights and stratagems, 
and to keep themselves in places of strength and advantage. To 
which purpose he told him the apologue of the fox, whom a 
fisherman finding in his lodge carrying away a salmon to his 
den for his young cubs, he drew his sword, and stood in the 
door to kill him, knowing he had no other way to get oat. 
The fox being thus straitened, went and took hold of the 
fisherman's mantle, which lay by, and went toward the fire 
to cast it into it and burn it; the fisherman to save his man- 
tle, ran to the fire, and left the door free; so that the fox es- 
caped out at the door, and, in his way, catched hold of the 
salmon, and went clear away with all, to the fisherman's 


great grief, who had his mantle burned, his salmon loot; 
and the fox escaped. Even so, says Sir James, it fares with 
us; we have done these men harm, and they think they 
have us in the noose, and in a mouse-trap; but I have espied 
a way by which, though it may seem somewhat hard and 
troublesome, we shall escape safe without the loss of a man. 
They continued still in the same place certain days after 
this, without doing any thing of note or moment on either 
side, for the English, warned by their late danger, kept 
better watch than they had done before; and now having 
taken a Scottish prisoner, they were informed by him, that 
the host of the Scots was commanded to be in readiness a- 
gainst the third watch to follow Sir James' standard. This 
put them to no small business; so that they presently armed, 
and stood ranked in order of battle, supposing that the Scots 
intended to make an onset, and assail them in their trenches; 
and therefore their watches and sentinels were doubled, and 
the fords strongly guarded. But the Scots by this time were 
risen and departed, passing through a moss or bog two miles 
long, which was never passed before, especially by horsemen: 
but they had provided flakes and hurdles, upon which they 
made the horses to pass without sinking, leading them in 
their hands, and walking on foot by them. About the break 
of day two Scottish trumpeters were brought to King Edward, 
who were taken by his scouts; and being come before him, 
told that they were commanded to suffer themselves to be 
taken thus, that they might tell him, that the Scots were gone 
home, and that if he had a mind to be revenged on them for 
any thing they had done, he should follow them. But he 
considering the matter, and weighing ail things, and with 
what men he had to do, being both valiant and able to en- 
dure so much hardship, thought it best to let them go, and 
so he returned to Jjondon, having seen his kingdom burned 
and spoiled before his face, for all his great army, and him- 
self in the midst thereof in danger of his life, or of taking; 
which affronts he was forced to pack up at this time, not 
without great grief and anger without all doubt. And this 


is the third piece of service done by that so despised man to 
the posterity of his despiser; to his son before, and now to 
his grandchild, in the year 1327 or 1328, near unto Stan- 
hope-park; which because it cannot be denied, Caxton al- 
ledgeth that it came to pass by the treason of Mortimer Earl 
of March, who being corrupted by the Scots with money, 
would not suffer, sairh he, the Earl of Lancaster to pass the 
water, not very deep at that part, to invade them; by which 
means they escaped. But our Major doth justly scorn that 
point of corrupting and bribing with money, and doth further 
affirm, that they had not any conference at all with Mortimer; 
so that it is likely, that what Mortimer spoke in that matter 
of not following, or invading the Scots at their departure, 
he hath spoken it out of judgement and not partiality; and. 
perhaps more prudently than they that counselled the con- 
trary. However they confessed that the king misled his 
purpose, and being very pensive therefore, broke up his 
army and returned to London. Amongst other things they 
tell, that after the Scots were dislodged, some of the English 
went to view their camp, partly to see their customs and man- 
ner of living, and what provision they had. partly to seek 
some spoil; when they were come there., they found only five 
hundred carcases of red and fallow deer, a thousand pair of 
Highland shoes, called rullions, made of raw and imtanned 
leather, three hundred hides of beasts set on stakes, which 
served for caldrons to seeth their meat. There were also five 
Englishmen, who had their legs broken, and were bound 
naked to trees, whom they loosed, and gave them to surgeons 
to be cured. When they saw these things, and judged here- 
by how painful and able to endure the Scotchmen were, the} 7 
found that counsel to have been good and sound, which was 
given to their king not to follow them, whether it were 
Mortimer's or some other's. 

The English writers upon this scarcity and penury here 
found, and upon such other passages (as when Edward II. 
entered Scotland, and was forced to return for want of victuals, 
the king having caused all things to be removed out of 



his way) take occasion to speak contemptuously of th« 
Scots, as though they had not defended their country by 
virtue and prowess against England (between it and which 
they think there is no comparison) but partly by cold and 
hunger, partly because the English kings did slight it, and 
were not desirous to conquer it: as also because the English 
forces were almost employed in France, so that they had no 
leisure to bend their whole power against Scotland; which, 
if they had done, they might easily, as they think, have 
mastered it: imputing hereby the cause of their failing to do 
it, they having such great odds in number of men and war- 
like appointment, to want of will, and their hinderance by 
France, and the poverty of our country, together with the 
roughness thereof, being so mountainous and full of heaths 
and wastes, harder enemies than the inhabitants, giving no 
place to the virtue and valour of the people, very absurdly 
and maliciously: for as touching the first, that they have had 
no desire of it, it is a childish affirmation, when they see that 
they cannot get a thing, to deny that they desire it. The 
great means they have used, the many attempts they have 
made, and that common and proverbial speech so ordinary 
in their own mouths, and devised among themselves, Qid 
la France vent gagver, a V Escosse faut commencer, do tes- 
tify the contrary. And above all, their often intending a full 
conquest of it, as their own histories bear record. And as 
for the hinderance by France, their aids to Scotland have not 
been very great, nor very frequent; it may even be said just- 
ly, that France hath received more help than ever it gave: 
for since the league with Charlemaigne, it may be truly said 
without any poetical hyperbole, That the French armies never 
wanted Scottish soldiers, but the Scots have but very seldom 
had Frenchmen to help them. And if the kings of England 
have sometimes bended their forces towards France, yet they 
did it not always, but have had more wars in Scotland, when 
they had peace with France. And it is amongst the com- 
plaints of our nation, that France has cast them into wars 
with England, when they might have had peace. Like as, 


when they had the advantage by war, France did often 
wring their weapons out of their hands, and forced them to 
a disadvantageous peace, which was commonly the greatest 
fruits of their friendship and league. Now, as for the diffi- 
culties of hills, hunger, &c. these are not so great as they 
talk of; for neither is it altogether so poor, nor so hilly and 
mountainous, as they would have it believed to be-, and if 
King Robert at this time, or any other at any time, have 
caused spoil and waste in the country at some times, thereby 
to famish or straiten the enemy, or have chosen to vex or 
trouble them with a camp volant e to eschew the hazard of a. 
battle, as Douglas and Randulph did at this time, it hath 
been the practice of all warriors of all . nations: but neither 
hath it been, neither could it have been the only mean of 
preserving this country in freedom, except manhood and val* 
our had been joined with it, and that in a great measure; 
whereof sufferance and hardiness to endure great straits, 
want, scant, cold, hunger, and travel is no little part. As 
on the contrary, not to be able to endure these, is effeminacy, 
the ordinary consequence of riches, wealth, ease, abundance, 
and delicacy, all reproachful to men; even as the other, I con- 
fess, are often the consequences of poverty, and are helps to 
harden the bodies and whet the courage of men. 

Wherefore if they had meant nothing else, but that the 
poverty of Scotland did preserve the liberty thereof, because 
it kept the inhabitants in continual exercise both of body and 
mind, and did not suffer them to grow tender, delicate, and 
effeminate, but hardened their bodies against want, and their 
minds and courage against perils and danger, which they em- 
ployed for the defence of their country, and by which (as. 
the chief means under God) they did defend it, we could 
well admit of it, and acknowledge as much poverty, (that is, 
to say, want of superfluity and vanity, invented by soft and 
womenly minds, and covered over with the mask of civility) as 
hath begotten in them valour and temperance, as it is said to 
have done in many people before; the Romans, Macedonians, 
Turks, rarthians, Scythians, &c. JJut iinqe that k not t;h : ;ir 


meaning, but even to detract from their valour, they expro- 
bate their poverty* and cast it up as a reproach, to breed 
contempt of them in others, and to ascribe to it what is due 
to their worth, to wit, the Liberty and preservation of their, 
country from all foreign enemies: we may say justly, that it hath 
not been the immediate cause of their being preserved against 
England, Danes, or whatsoever enemy; but that there hath 
been as much sufficiency of things necessary, (call it riches, 
or by what other name you list) as hath moved other nations, 
especially England, to covet it, and coveting to invade it: and 
when they had done their best, they were driven from it; 
not so much by the barrenness and roughness of the soil, as 
by many and sad strokes of the inhabitants thereof; and by 
such acts and deeds as became wise, valiant, and courageous 
men. Concerning all which, this one example will serve to 
confute whatsoever hath been, or can be said of this kind, than 
which we need no other proof, and that is this same huge 
and great army raised by this king (Edward III.) and intending 
to have come into Scotland, if he had not been thus affront- 
ed by Sir James and Randulph; and before in his father's time 
at Biland, and ^ which admitteth of no exception) at Bannock- 
burn. In all which there is no colour of want of will; he 
showed it, he professed it, and presumed to devour them 
in an instant: no want of forces, having gathered from all 
countries not only his subjects, but his friends also: no scarci- 
ty of victuals, he had abundance of all things: no hills nor 
mountains, they met in the plain fields: no foreign aid on 
the Scots side that we hear of, besides the two Brabanders, 
that King Edward sent to help them. And so again whatso- 
ever progress or appearance of conquest the English have made 
of Scotland, it was never by their valour and arms, but by 
the advantage of an intestine war, they siding with the one 
party, and at last overcoming both, as did Edward I. in the 
days of Baliolj wherefore they make a wrong account, and 
much mistake the matter, that thin'c the liberty of this king- 
dom hath been maintained more by the barrenness of our soil, 
want of will in our enemies, or of leisure in the English, 


than by the worth of our predecessors, if we weigh things 
rightly. But the true way and mean by which our country 
and the liberty thereof have stood, and by which they have 
relieved and vindicated it, when it was thralled, are these 
we have spoken of; by which also they procured peace at all 
times, and now also at this time. 

For the same year, in March, ambassadors came from Ed- 
ward to treat of perpetual peace, which the next year was 
concluded by the parliament of England held at Northampton: 
unto this parliament for treating of articles of peace, King 
Robert sent Sir James, with some prelates, where it was con- 
cluded on these conditions, that the king of England should 
renounce all title and claim that he and his predecessors had 
laid to the crown of Scotland, and deliver unto them what- 
soever bonds, contracts, writs or evidences they had for their 
pretended title thereto; and should leave that kingdom as 
free as it had been in the days and at the death of King Alex- 
ander III. from all bondage and servitude for time to come* 
That the Scots should also resign to the English all lands and 
possessions which sometimes they had in England, or held of 
England in fealty, as beneficiaries thereof; and that the marches 
between the two kingdoms should be Cumberland and North- 
umberland, unto Stonemoore. That David, son to King Ro- 
bert, should marry Jane, King Edward's sister, called by some 
Jane of the Tower, and by the Scots, Jane make peace, irk 
derision; and that King Robert should pay to Edward 3000 
merks sterling, for the damage done to his people in the late 
wars, by Sir James and Randulph, Earl of Murray. The first 
of these articles, was presently performed, and the King of 
England delivered all the writs and evidences which he had 
concerning his alledged superiority of Scotland, and amongst 
them an indenture which they called Ragman, saith Hollin- 
shed, and certain jewels won from the- kings of Scotland, 
amongst which the black crosier or rood was one. This peace 
the same author calleth " unprofitable and dishonourable, 
«< done by evil and naughty counsel." If it were dishonour- 
ai^e for England, it was so much the more honourable for the 


Scots that gave it. But the dishonour he meaneth is the renun- 
ciation of his title to the crown of Scotland, whereof he had 
just right. King Robert and the Scots had driven him out 
of his usurpation, and vindicated their liberty by force of 
arms: and as for his right and title in law, the world knows 
what small account Scotland ever made of his pretensions; 
having never been subject unto any but to their own king. 
Wherefore it was only to take away all occasion of caviling, 
and the better to keep peace with their neighbours, that they 
desired this surrender, as they had done before with Baliol, 
whose right notwithstanding carried a greater show of equity 
and reason; and indeed it is not so much to be wondered at, 
that King Edward condescended to these articles, as it is 
that King Robert should not have yielded to them, being 
more unprofitable for him than for the other: and a man 
would think it very strange that he should part with North- 
umberland, or give any money to recompence any damage 
done in a just war; and that there should not rather money- 
have been given unto him, as a dowry or portion with his 
daughter-in-law. But the time answered it, he was now of a 
good age, and unable for travel and war, being wearied with 
battles, and cloyed with victories, and seized by sickness, he 
longed for peace to himself and to his posterity; but with 
what fidelity, and how little it was kept by King Edward, 
we shall hear hereafter. No alliance, nor bond of amity 
(which ought, but seldom doth tie princes and great men) 
could keep him from breaking of this peace. The marriage 
was solemnized at Berwick with all the pomp that might be, 
after which King Robert lived not a full year. 

A little before his death, being at Cardross, which stands 
over against Dumbarton, on the other side of the water of 
Leven, whither he had withdrawn himself, by reason of his 
age and sickness, to live a private and quiet life; he called 
his friends together, and made his last will and testament, 
jn which having ordered all his other affairs, he called 
to mind a vow that he had made to go into Syria, and there 
to fight against the common enemy of the Christian name: 


but because his wars before, and now his age and sickness 
would not suffer him to perform it in his own person, he re- 
commended the performing of it to Sir James Douglas, re- 
questing him earnestly to go and do it for him; and withal, 
to carry his heart to Jerusalem, and there to bury it near 
the holy grave. This was esteemed a great honour in those 
days, both by Sir James himself and others, and withal a 
clear and honourable testimony of the king's affection to- 
wards him; and so he interpreted it. Wherefore King Ro- 
bert dying the 7th of July, 1329, he made himself ready, 
and prepared all things for his voyage very diligently; yet 
there were some of the most judicious in those times, who 
took it to have a deeper reach; and that, however he did also 
respect Sir James, and think him the fittest for this business, 
his main design was to prevent all dissention which might 
have risen between these two great captains, Douglas and 
Murray; Randulph, to obviate which, they think, devised to 
send Sir James out of the country upon this honourable pre- 
text. But there are authors that say, the king did not par- 
ticularly design Sir James by name, but desired his nobles to 
choose one of his most noble captains in the realm for that 
effect, and that they after his decease laid it upon Sir James 
with one consent, "who most willingly accepted thereof, as 
one who, during King Robert's life, had served the body 
wherein the heart had lodged. But whether the king desir- 
ed him by name, or the nobility did interpret the king's 
meaning to be such, under the title and description of the 
Most Noble Captain, or that they themselves did deem him 
to be so, as indeed he was most worthy; so it was that the 
charge was committed unto him, and he most gladly un- 
dertook it, when his presence was very necessary for the 

For before he took his journey, there fell out a matter that 
occasioned great troubles afterwards by Edward Baliol. One 
Laurence Twine, an Englishman born, and one of those who 
had obtained lands in Scotland, for reward of his service in 
the wars; a man well born, but of a vitious life: this man, 


after King Robert's death, presuming of impunity in res- 
pect of King David's youth, loosed the reins to his licentious 
lewdness; and being often taken in adultery, and admonished 
by the Official of Glasgow when he would not abstain from 
his wickedness, he was excommunicated: wherewith being 
incensed, he took the Official as he was riding to the town of 
Ayr, and kept him prisoner till he was forced to redeem his 
liberty with a sum of money. Sir James Douglas, highly of- 
fended with this enormity, caused seek him, that he might 
be punished: which Twine understanding, and fearing that 
he should not long escape his hands if he staid within tho 
country, fled into France, and addressing himself unto Ed- 
ward Baliol, he persuaded him to enterprize against the king 
of Scotland, and recover that which he had so good right to, 
imd so fair an opportunity; which Baliol did in Sir James' 
absence, by his voyage, or after his slaughter in his voyage. 
And no doubt his absence was a strong inducement both to 
this Edward, and to Edward of England, to attempt the sub- 
duing of Scotland; which he thought would prove easy, by 
making Randulph away, which he sought to have done by 
poison, Sir James being absent. So that either the king's 
devotion, if it were indeed devotion, or his policy, (if it 
\vere but policy) in sending of him out of the country, is 
greatly condemned by our writers. And to speak the truth, 
it deserves to be condemned, having by so doing sent away 
so fit and useful a man, denuding the country of such a cap- 
tain in so doubtful times; whereas a prelate, or some other 
churchman, had been fitter for that employment. And he 
ought to have considered that England would be still aiming 
at the crown of Scotland, notwithstanding the late alliance. 
Neither needed he to fear any emulation between Randulph 
and Sir James, there being such entire love in Sir James to- 
wards Randulph, that howsoever he contended with him in 
virtue, yet his contention was but in virtue, and ever with- 
in the bounds of modesty, love, and friendship, behaving 
himself to him as to his comrade and brother in arms, where- 
of he had ever given in all the joint services so evident proof, 


especially at Bannockburn, where his love drew him out to 
have succoured him, if there had been need, and the same 
love and candour (so to call it) or courtesy and modesty join- 
ed with magnanimity, staid him from going forward, that 
he might not arrogate to himself one share of that victory, 
whereby the other's glory had been eclipsed. And when he 
had got the victory, he accompanied him joyfully into the 
camp, no less glad than if he had been victorious himself, 
far from any hateful or envious emulation: so that there was 
small reason to look for any harm from such a disposition, or 
any inconvenience from such emulation, but rather to have 
expected much good from that his so well known affection 
and constancy both towards Randulph and his native country. 
However, he out of his own worthy and good nature taking all 
in good part., passed on his journey, taking with him two hun- 
dred gentlemen of note, and (as it is reported) seven hundred 
others. Amongst the gentlemen of good quality, were Sir 
William Sinclair of Rosline, Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig, 
and Sir William Keith. De Froysard, in his 20th chap, re- 
porteth, that after his embarking in Scotland he arrived at 
the Sluce, and staid there twelve days, where he kept such 
state and grandeur as if he had been king of Scotland: that 
he had in company with him, a knight banneret, and seven 
other knights of Scotland, and was served by twenty-six 
young squires and young gentlemen of good sort, all his 
vessels being of gold or silver: that all that came to see 
him of all sorts of people were, according to their rank, well 
and plentifully served with all manner of victuals, wine, and 
spices, the best that could be had. He saith also, that in 
his return from Jerusalem, he arrived at the port of Valence 
the Great in Spain, where endeavouring to assist Alphonsus 
the king thereof, who warred against the king of Granada, 
then a Saracen, he was there enclosed by an ambush of the 
enemy, and so lost his life. 

He carried with him to Jerusalem the king's heart, embalm- 
ed and put into a box of gold, which he solemnly buried bo- 
fore the high altar there; and this is the reason why the 



Douglas bear the crowned heart in their coat of arms ever 
since. When he had performed this piece of service to his 
dead master, he went with such company as he had brought 
with him, and joined himself unto such other Christian princes, 
as at that time were gathered with great power out of sundry- 
parts of Christendom, to war against the infidels; where 
he did so notable service, that by his frequent victories he 
won great honour to the Christian name. At last, having 
accomplished things in those parts with no less fame and glory 
than princely magnificence, he embarked for Scotland, but 
was cast by storm of weather upon the coast of Spain, and 
forced to go ashore on the borders of Granada, where at the 
same time he found the king of Arragon fighting against the 
Saracens that inhabited these parts: Sir James offered to the 
king to serve him in those wars, and so fought against the 
enemy valiantly, and with great success at several times; 
till at last having conceived too great contempt of the enemy, 
esteeming them no warriors, he became somewhat too care- 
less and secure, so that he was enclosed in an ambush and 
slain, with all that were about him. His bones were em-> 
balmed and sent home to Scotland, and buried in the church 
of Douglas, called St. Bride's Kirk. 

And thus he died in the year 1330, the 20th of August, 
the next year after King Robert's decease. As for his vir- 
tues, his actions have declared them sufficiently, yet these in 
particular are to be observed: in his youth he was careful to 
enable and fit himself for employment, by the study and ex- 
ercise of letters, and all good and commendable arts, where- 
by his mind contracting a good habit, was solidly fixed upon 
the virtues of modesty and soberness, and empty of all envy, 
which scarcely and very seldom are joined with these great 
virtues of courage and magnanimity in a military spirit and 
life, which commonly hinder others. In his riper years 
we may see his perfect practice of them against the enemy, 
and towards his friends. In action he was bold, resolute, and 
courageous, strong, diligent, and advised; and such every 
way as a stout soldier or worthy commander ought to be. 



Out of action, and in private converse, he was toward, affable, 
gentle, and courteous unto all. He was loving to his coun- 
try, loyal, faithful, ana" obedient to his sovereign: he contend- 
ed in virtue with his equals, free from envy and hatred a- 
gainst any, and, through the course of his whole life, without 
stain or blemish that we hear of. 

He is reckoned to have been in battles and encounters a- 
gainst the English fifty-seven times, against the Saracens and 
other infidels thirteen times, ever victorious; thrice as often 
as he had been years in action, which were about twentv- 
four from King Robert's coronation 1306, until the time cf 
his death in 13130, which, if it be so, we may see how many 
things were omitted by our writers, all that are set down be- 
ing far short of that number. Wherefore it is no wonder, 
if in such a continual course of victories, some confidence 
crept upon him; and if accustomed to so hard enemies, and 
good warriors as the English, and Scots that sided with 
them (as commonly those are, who are born and bred in the 
northern parts of the world) he disesteemed and slighted the 
Saracens and southern softness, weakness, and effeminacy in 
respect thereof, whereby he fell into this ambush, which was 
his death. Now as in these respects, it is somewhat to be par- 
doned, so is this use to be made of it, that we should despise 
no enemy however inferior, and to eschew too much confi- 
dence and presumption in whatsoever advantage, which hath 
been the ruin and loss Ol many worthy men. He is said to 
have been of a black and swarthy complexion, and to "have 
lisped somewhat in his speech. We hear nothing either in 
history or monument, or Otherwise, of his marriage: he had 
two natural sons, William Lord of Liddisdale (of whom we 
will speak hereafter) and one Archibald, whom the Lord 
of Liddisdale made captain of the castle of Edinburgh, whea 
he took it. 

To conclude, let this be observed, that Sir Jarnes is never 
mentioned by any, either English or Scottish writer whatso- 
ever, but with honour and commendation, as worthy, valiant, 
noble, good, or seme such epithet; and confessed to have 



been one of the most valiant that lived in his days; such is 
the force of virtue, and so prevalent is it even with enetn ies. 
We will not omit here, the judgement of those times concern- 
ing him, in an old rude verse indeed, yet such as beareth 
witness of his true magnanimity and invincible mind in either 
fortune, good or bad. 

Good Sir James Douglas, 

Who wise, and wight, and worthy was, 

Was never over glad for winning, 

Nor yet over sad for tineing, 

Good fortune and evil chance, 

He weighed both in one balance. 

Jacobus Douglassius Roberto Brussio Regi socius omnium lal>orim\ 
in Hispania ccesus a Saracenis, 1 330. 

Qidequid sors potuit mortali in pectore Jerre, 

Velfacere*, hoc didici perfice?-e, atquepati. 
Prima nhi luctando vici, sors affuit ausis 

Omnibus: el quid non pro patria ausus eram? 
Hosti terror ego: nuttis me terruit hostis: 

Consiliis junxi robora dura meis. 
Trcelia quot numerat, iitulosque, actosque iriumphos 

Brussius, hinc totidem pene trophcea mihi. 
Quo jam signa feram? major qcerendus et orbis 

Atqus hostis. Famam non capit iste meam* 
Anna Saraceno objeci prope Utlora. Calpes 

HerculecB: hie telhus me malejausta iegit. 
Herculece Grcecis memoretur gloria latcdis % 

Fattor? an Herculeis stanl potiora mea* 

In English thus. 
Whatever weight in furious fortune laid 
On weak man's breast, I suffered undismay'd. 
Nor less my active force; and when I try'd 
Her power in war, propitious fate deny'd 
No help; whilst my endeavours well did prove 
How much I dared for my country's love, 
A terror to my foes; I knew no fear, 
Wisdom and valour both united were 


In me. And look what triumphs Bruce gain'd, 

As many trophies were by me obtain'd. 

What more remaineth to increase my name? 

The world appears too little for my fame. 

To Spain my aid I gave, and did oppose 

The Saracen, there was the fata! close 

Of my brave life, where' t may be questioned much* 

If Hercules's monuments wore such. 

Of Hugh the Fourth and Ninth Lord of Douglas. 

vjNTO this Sir James, his brother- ger man Hugh Douglas 
did succeed, the ninth Lord, and fourth of that name. Of 
this man, whether it was by reason of the dulness of his 
mind, or infirmity of his body, or through whatsoever occa- 
sion else, we have no mention at all in history of any of his 
actions, only it is certain that he succeeded, and was Lord of 
Douglas, which he demitted in favour of his brother Archi- 
bald, slain at Halidon-hill, to his son William, who was the 
first Earl of Douglas, as shall be shown in his life. The ho- 
nour of the name and dignity of the house was upheld by his 
brother Archibald Lord of Galloway, of whom therefore we 
are now to speak. This Hugh lived after the death of his 
brother Archibald, which was 1333, some nine or ten years, 
till 1343, as the charter of resignation of the lordship to his 
nephew doth witness. He died without children, and was 
never married. 

Of Archibald Douglas Lord oj Galloway, Governor 
of Scotland, Third Brother to Sir James. 

-DEFORE we proceed to speak of the next Lord Douglas, 
the time and order of the history requireth that we speak of 
Archibald Douglas Lord of Galloway, and Governor of Scor- 
ed: he was third brother to good Sir James, as Boetius afi 


firmeth in these words, Arcliihaldus Drwglasszus germamiS 
Jacobi de Douglas, quern nuperrime in Hispania interdisse 
scrzpsimus. This Archibald did outlive Sir James not above 
three years, as we shall show hereafter. Neither is the loss 
of the battle wherein he died, imputed to his youth, but to 
his haste and indignation. And in the battle of Annand, he 
showed wisdom and prudence sufficiently. Touching his 
education, there is no mention thereof in history: he married 
Dornagiila, daughter to Red John Cuming, whom King Ro- 
bert slew at Dumfries. This John Cuming was styled Lord 
of Galloway, having married a daughter of Allan Lord of 
Gallov/ay, called Mary, whose eldest sister Dornagiila, John 
Baliol had married; and therefore he is also styled Lord of 
Calloway. There was also a third of these daughters mar- 
ried, as ojar writers say, to the Earl o[ Abcrmale: it secmeth 
the lands of Galloway (Lord Allan dying without heirs-male) 
have been divided among the three sisters: as for his third, 
we find nothing else of her. This Archibald having married 
John Cuming's daughter, the inheritrix of the lands of Gal- 
loway, was employed in the war against Edward Baliol, 
whom he defeated and chased to Roxburgh, whereupon, for 
this service, and also by another title which he claimed, as 
nearest to the house of Galloway by his grandmother the 
Earl of Carrick's sister, (which right we have deduced at 
large in the life of Lord William the Third, maker of the In- 
denture) Baliol being forfeited, he obtains the lands of Gal- 
loway, as evidences and histories bear record, styling him 
Archibald Lord of Galloway, which continued in his posterity 
until the forfeiture of the Earls of Douglas. .Some aliedge 
that Red John Cuming did not marry the Lord of Galloway's 
daughter Mary, but a daughter of John Baliol of Harcourt 
in Normandy, called Adama, whom he begot on his wife 
Dornagiila, who was daughter to Allan Lord of Galloway: 
but how came Red John to style himself Lord of Galloway, 
seeing his wife was Adama Baliol, who had brothers, at least 
one, to wit, John Baliol that was competitor with Brace. 
However it was, Archibald Dowglas h.v 


Baliol, and Baliol being forfeited, was made Lord of Gallo- 

This Archibald had by Ids wife Dornagiila Cuming two 
sons, William who succeeded to his uncle Hugh in the Lord- 
ship of Douglas, raid was created Earl of Douglas, and 
Archibald after Lord of Galloway: he had also a daughter 
called Marjory married to Thomas Earl of Mar. 

We have heard in the life of good Sir James, how Kino- 
Robert Bruce, before his death, had taken all pains for esta- 
blishing the kingdom to his posterity, and to leave it peace- 
ably unto them, and had done for that effect what the wit of 
man could devise. He had beaten out his enemies by arms; 
he had ratified and confirmed his right by the laws and act 
of parliament; he had obtained a renunciation of all title and 
claim he could pretend from John Baliol his competitor; he 
had got also the like renunciation from the king of England 
and all evidences, writs, and monuments concerning his pre- 
tences delivered up to him, discharged and cancelled, and de- 
clared to be null and of no value, by consent of the English 
parliament: and, (to be the surer of King Edward's friend- 
ship) he married his son David to Jane his sister. He had 
cut off the rebellions that were springing up against him, by 
executing such as were guilty, established Raiidulph tutor and 
protector to his son, and governor of the country; he had re- 
moved all occasion of emulation, that might have fallen out 
therein, and settled ail with- good advice, good precepts, rood 
counsel in his testament, both for peace among themselves 
and war against the enemy. But what is the wit of man? 
and how Aveak a thing are his devices? or what bends will 
bind whom duty cannot bind? 

This, same Baliol, who-e father had renounced his right 
(nothing regarding what Lis father had done) renewed KJs 
claim to the crown. This same king of England, who had 
himself solemnly renounced, who had bound up friendship 
with the most sure and strongest bonds that can be amonrst 
men, regarding neither his resignation made, nor his affinity 
and alliance, nor any duty towards God, or faith fold promise 


to man, used all means to strip his brother-in-law (and by 
consequence his sister) out of the kingdom of Scotland, as if 
nothing were unlawful that could fill up the bottomless gulf 
of his ambition. First, he caused an English monk, under 
colour of giving physic for the gravel, to poison the go- 
vernor Thomas Randulph Earl of Murray, and afterward aid- 
ed Edward Baliol with 6000 English, upon condition that Ba- 
liol should hold the crown of him. Edward Baliol entering 
Scotland with these forces; and being assisted by the male- 
contents in Scotland, prevailed so, that having won a battle 
at Duplin (1332, the 22d of September, the third year after 
the death of King Robert, and about one year after the death 
of Randulph) in which many were slain, to the number of 
3000, together with Duncan or Donald Earl of Mar, the 
the governor. He was crowned at Scone, and those of the 
Bruce\s side constrained to send their King David Bruce, 
with his wife, into France, having no safe place at home to 
keep hiin in. 

.After his coronation, having taken in divers places that 
stood out against him, he went at last to Annand, receiving 
such as would acknowledge him, and taking their oath of al- 
legiance and fidelity. Whereupon Andrew Murray Earl of 
Bothwell, chosen governor after Mar's death, sent Archibald 
Lord of Galloway to see what he could do against Baliol in 
those quarters; he taking with him his nephew, William 
Douglas Lord of Liddisdale, and John Randulph, the go- 
• vernor Randulph's son, together with Simon Fraser, having 
in company with them a thousand horse, went first to Moffat, 
and having there understood of Baliol's careless discipline 
and security, departing from thence in the night, he came 
so suddenly to Annand where Baliol lay, that he escaped very 
narrowly, being half naked, not having leisure to put on his 
clothes; and riding upon a cart horse, unsaddled and unbrid- 
led, till he came to Carlisle. Others write, that though he 
came very quietly to have surprised the enemy unawares in 
the night-time, yet they had notice of his coining, and issued 
forth of the town with a sreat araiv, where tfeey foughj Ift „ 


and stoutly, till at last Baliol was overthrown and fled. There 
were slain many of his friends, and amongst these, Henry 
Baliol, who behaved himself very manfully, John Mowbray, 
"Walter Cumin, Richard Kirbie, Robert (or Alexander) Bruce 
Earl of Carrick, and son to Edward King of Ireland, was 
taken prisoner, and obtained pardon by the intercession of 
his cousin John Randulph. 

Hollinshed writteth, that somewhat before this time the 
friends of David Bruce understanding that Baliol did sojourn 
within the town of Perth, had besieged it, but that they were 
constrained to raise the siege, because of the men of Gallo- 
way,'' who having been sometimes the Baliol's dependers, in- 
vaded the besiegers lands, under the conduct of Eustace Max- 
well; whereupon he saith, Archibald Lord of Galloway, with 
the Earls of March and Murray, invaded Galloway Wt$i fire 
and sword, and brought away great booties, but slew not 
many men, because they got them out of the way, for fear of 
that terrible invasion. This narration may be true in the last 
part thereof concerning their invasion, but the cause of this 
invasion is not probable; that the men of Galloway should in- 
vade men's lands that lay so far from them, as they behoved 
to be that did besiege St. Johnston: for in all likelihood it 
was besieged by these that were nearest to it, being in kin, 
and friends to those that were slain in Duplin- and both Hol- 
linshed himself, and others write, that it was recovered in 
Baliol's absence about the same time, while he sojourned m 
Annand, by those that lay near to it, without mentioning any 
other siege, before that, at which it was taken. 

This battle at Annand so changed the case, that he who 
even now was crowned king, in September, who had far pre- 
vailed, to whom all men, even King David's nearest friends 
and kinsmen, had yielded, despairing of his estate, was, bv 
this act of Archibald Lord of Galloway, turned quite out of 
his kingdom and country, and compelled to fly into England 
to save his life the 25th of December the same year, about 
three months after his coronation, and was compelled to keep 
his Christmas at Carslile ? in the house of the. Friars Minors. 



A notable example of the inconstancy of worldly affairs, and 
constancy of an honest heart in the Douglas, not abandoning 
his prince's cause, when others had forsaken it, and also a 
proof of his good and useful services; for which, as he deserv- 
ed perpetual praise and favour of his rightful prince, so did 
he incur great hatred of his enemy, the usurping Baliol, who 
the next day after, (the 26th of December) going into "West- 
moreland, and there being honourably received by the Lord 
Clifford, gave unto him the whole lands of Douglasdale, which 
the said Lord Clifford's grandfather had before in the days of 
King Edward I. so proudly did he presume to give that which 
was not in his power: and so little had he learned the lesson 
of the uncertainty of human affairs, grounded on whatsoever 
power, appearance, or even success; and so difficult a lesson 
it is to learn, where there remains means so great as he trust- 
ed to, the power of the king and kingdom of England, with 
his own particular friendship and faction within the country 
of Scotland, which shall indeed have power to trouble the 
state a while, but not to establish either the kingdom to him- 
self, or any part of Douglasdale to the Lord Clifford. 

The next year, 1333, King Edward of England, having 
shaken off all colour of duty to his brother-in-law King David, 
made open war to be proclaimed between the two countries, 
which turned on all hands to the disadvantage of Scotland, 
even upon both the marches. For the Lord of Liddisdale 
was taken prisoner on the west hand, he having the charge 
of that quarter, and Murray the governor on the middle march 
Vas taken likewise at the castle of Roxburgh, by pursuing 
the victory too far on the bridge, and so excluded from his 
OAvn. King Edward took openly upon him the protection of 
Baliol, having caused him to swear homage to him; and so 
with a great army, both of bis own subjects and foreigners, 
came in person and sat down before Berwick, and besieged it 
both by sea and land. Hereupon the nobility of Scotland 
chose Archibald Douglas Lord of Galloway to be governor 
and general of the army, advising him to enter England, and 
to spoil it with fire andsword, so as to force King Edward to 


rise from before Berwick, and leave the siege. And this 
whilst he was about to have done, he is advertised from with- 
in the town, that Sir Alexander Seton, governor thereof, had 
made a paction with King Edward to render the town, if he 
were not succoured by the Scots before the first of August 
next; and for performance thereof, had given him his son 
anu heir in pledge and hostage. Hereupon the Lord Gover- 
nor changeth his purpose fearing the loss of the town, and 
against the opinion of the wisest of his army, marcheth direct- 
ly towards Berwick: and the third day after he set forth, he 
came within the sight both of his friends and foes. Before 
this King Edward (besides Thomas Seton, who was given him. 
in pledge) had taken also Alexander Seton, another son of 
the governor of Berwick, whilst at a sally out of the town he 
followed upon the enemy too eagerly, and had now both the 
brothers in his power, the one a pledge, the other a prisoner. 
He therefore seeing now that the town was like to be reliev- 
ed, sent to the captain, certifying him plainly, that unless he 
did render the town into his hands, both his sons should be 
hanged immediately upon a gibbet, in sight of the town be- 
fore his eyes. The captain returned him answer, that the 
days of the truce were not yet expired, and therefore desired 
him, either to keep the covenant he had made, or else deliv- 
er the hostages, and be at his advantage. When the king 
could not prevail with him, nor break him off his resolute 
constancy, (to which his virtuous and generous lady did also 
notably encourage him,) he was as good as his word, and per- 
formed indeed what he had threatened against the law of na- 
tions, and against all humanity, hanging them up almost in 
the very sight of their parents, who bore it patiently and con- 
stantly for the good of their country, and thought their child- 
rens lives well bestowed in that regard; only that they might 
not be beholders of so heavy a spectacle, they retired them- , 
$elves to their chamber apart. 

This strange, tyrannical, barbarous, and monstrous fact is 
suppressed in the histories of England, and buried in silence, 
not unwisely, it being capable neither of defence nor excise: 


and yet is contrary to the laws of histories, and the duty of 
an historian, who ought (according to the oath of witnesses) 
to tell all the truth, and nothing but the truth; seeing where 
the truth is either adulterated or suppressed, the life of his- 
tory is lost, which consists in particular circumstances truly 
related. Neither do I see how this same king (in the end of 
his life) can pertinently and justly be called courteous and 
gentle, after such a fact, whereof few the like have fallen in- 
to the hands of the cruellest tyrants that ever were recorded 
in story. And, for my part, I think certainly that it is not 
possible that one who is of a nature truly gentle and courte- 
ous, should commit and be guilty of so foul a crime. It is a 
perpetual blot and inexcuseable, and such as no wit can wash 
away. So it is still, and so let it ever be branded and detested: 
so it was by our governor the Lord of Galloway; and so much 
did it move him, and so far stir up his noble indignation, that 
he thought he could never be exonerated with credit, without 
avenging' it, or spending his life in the quarrel; and so being 
resolved to fight, he would never give ear to any counsel on 
the contrary, nor alter his determination for any difficulty 
that could be proposed. And now King Edward, after that 
unpleasant spectacle, detested even by the English themselves, 
had drawn up his army, and taken a hill to the west of Ber- 
wick called Halidon-hill, a place very advantageous for him; 
and the Scottish army did stand over against them in battle 
array. The governor commanded to march up the hill, and 
to invade the English where they stood, altogether against the 
counsel of the best advised, who both before, considering the 
inecmalties of the armies, both in number (they being but 
few in respect of the English) and in experience, being for 
the most part young and raw soldiers, not yet trained, had dis- 
suaded him from fighting any at all; and now seeing the odds, 
and inequality of ground, would gladly have opposed them- 
selves thereunto. But all was in vain; he was so incensed 
with that so detestable fact, that boiling with anger, and de- 
sirous of revenge, and trusting to the goodness of his cause, 
and to the forwardness of his army, who being inflamed in the 


like anger upon the same occasion, were very desirous to join 
battle, esteeming that their earnestness of mind, would sup- 
ply their want of skill, and overcome all other difficulties; 
and thinking in himself, that if, having been a spectator of that 
vile and cruel murder, he should turn his back without fight- 
ing, it would be accounted cowardice; he prosecuted his re- 
solution, and commanded to march forward, which was ac- 
cordingly performed. They were first to descend and go 
down from a little hill on which they stood, then through a 
valley; and so to climb up another hill, so steep that one man 
may (as Major saith) keep down four, such is the situation 
thereof on the west-side* Wherefore the Scots, before they 
could come to strokes, were almost overwhelmed with shot 
and stones; when they were come up, being quite out of 
breath, and charged from the higher ground, they were born 
down with violence and slain. Some write, that the first 
joining of the battle was at the foot of the hill, upon more 
even ground; but that the English gave somewhat back to- 
wards the side and ascent of the hill; and having got that 
advantage of the rising of the hill, made a fierce onset upon 
the Scots, who pursued them too rashly, supposing the 
English had fled, by which means they were utterly over- 

There died of the Scots in this battle 10,000, others say 
14,000 the English writers say 30,000. A rare host among the 
Scots, though the country had not been divided in itself; and 
there were but few more than 30,000, when they overthrew 
the King of England with his invincible army at the renown- 
ed battle of Bannockburn. But such is the custom and form 
of their writers, to extol their own facts, and to lessen their 
neighbours; for they say there were slain only at Bannock- 
burn of the English 10,000, and at this battle but fifteen, 
how apparently, let the reader judge. Our Avriters say there 
was no small number of them slain, and that it was fought 
with great courage, nevertheless of this inequality: neither 
did the Scots turn their backs, or give ground, until their 
general, fighting valiantly in the midst of them, was slain. 


There died with him John, James, and Allan Stewarts, sons 
to Walter Stewart, in his own battle, the Earl of Ross, to 
whom he had committed the van-guard, with Kenneth Earl 
of Sutherland, Alexander Bruce Earl of Carrick, Andrew, 
James, and Simon Frasers. Few were taken prisoners, and 
such as were taken, by the command of King Edward 
were beheaded the next day, against the law of arms. Some 
few were s^ved by their keepers, who were more covetous of 
their ransom, than of their blood. Such cruelty did this gen- 
tle nature practise before the battle upon the Setons, in the 
chace upon the flyers, and after the battle upon the prisoners 
in cold blood. But his aim was to make a full conquest of 
Scotland, which did fail him. notwithstanding. This battle 
was fought July 22d, 1333, called Magdalen's day, accounted 
by the superstition of* the people unfortunate for Scotland. 

Thus died Archibald Douglas Lord of Galloway fighting 
for his country: his love thereof, his indignation against 
so inhumane a fact is commendable: his magnanimity like- 
wise and valour is such as became his house: his conduct 
is blamed, and the cause thereof, whether it were anger or 
error, his anger or desire of revenge, though the cause be 
never so just, should have been bridled and tempered, and 
so governed with such wisdom as might have effected a due 
punishment indeed, and not so heady as to have precipita- 
ed himself and the country into extreme danger and ruin 
whilst he sought revenge. Or if it were error, and too 
much relying upon the forwardness of his army, that indeed 
is a thing not to be neglected, but to be taken hold of, and 
made use of, yet it ought not to be so far trusted but well 
employed, and managed with judgement, as a good addition 
to other means and helps, but not that the whole hope of 
the victory should be grounded and hang upon it alone; far 
less ought it to be made use of, when there is too great 
odds. In which case it serves but for a spur to set us on 
our more speedy ruin. If it were fear that he should be 
thought a coward if he did not fight, that moved him, his 
fear was neediest; he had given good proof of it before, and 

House of douglas. 


might have given mere thereafter: he should have remem- 
bered that he was a general and leader in whom want of wis- 
dom and government were as much to be blamed as fearful- 
ness. He was also a governor, in whose safety the kingdom 
was interested, and who ought to have regarded the good 
thereof. In this balance he should have weighed things, and 
should have done according to it, though with hazard of a 
sinister report for a while, which might easily have been re- 
covered in its own time. Concerning which, and all idle 
fame, and vain opinion of ignorant people, we have that 
notable example of that worthy Fabius Maximus the Roman 
captain, who neither by the provocation of the enemy, nor 
importunity of the soldiers, nor disgraceful rumours scatter- 
ed among the people, as if he durst not have fought, or had 
colluded with Hannibal, and other such slanders, could be 
moved to fight but at a convenient time: nay rather than he 
would do it, he suffered the half of his army to be taken 
from him, and given to his lieutenant, as the hardier man 
than he, who both durst, and would fight, as he bragged, 
and so he did indeed upon the first occasion, but with such 
fool hardiness, as that he had both lost himself and his whole 
army, if Fabius had not come in time to his rescue, who at 
that fit time of fighting, showed in effect, both what he dursfi 
do in manhood, and what he could do in wisdom; and easily 
made these fond rumours to vanish, to his perpetual glory, 
the confuting and confounding of his competitor, ana con- 
fession and acknowledgement of his worth from those who' 
had blamed him before. Not unlike to this was the saying 
of great Scipio the African, who being reproached by a cer- 
tain man that he was not so forward a fighter as he could 
have wished (though in every deed he was forward enough) 
deigned him no other answer, but that his mother had born 
him to be a commander, not a fighter, thinking that a cap- 
tain's chief honour is to command well, and to choose fit 
times, places, and means for fighting. And not to go any- 
farther; we heard before in good Sir James' life, how little 
he war, moved at the English herald's demands, who desired, 


in the King's name, that he would fight him on the plain 
field, upon equal ground, if he had either virtue or honour. 
Sir James sent him away with derision, as one that had made 
a foolish request, telling him, that a good captain should ac- 
count it his honour not to fight for his enemies request, but 
as he found most convenient for himself, in wisdom, chusing 
the form, the field, the time, the place, and all for the ad- 
vantage of his army, and giving no advantage to the enemy, 
whereof he could possibly hinder him. And this I have in- 
sisted upon so much the more, because many that are of 
good spirits otherwise, do often err in this false opinion, and 
thereby lose both themselves and their honour. So that 
while they affect to be called hardy fighters, do prove indeed 
to be foolish captains and bad commanders; and so do not 
avoid reproach, but incur it. . Neither get they the honour of 
valour, which they seek, but the blame of temerity and rash- 
ness, which they should avoid. So that the writers speaking 
of this fact do all of them condemn it, and brand it with a 
note of ill conduct; and some of them say m express terms, 
Archibald Lord of Galloway was not valiant in this case, but 
temerarious and foolish; very truly and wisely, to warn others 
to take heed, and beware of failing in the like kind; very so- 
berly and respectively, restricting it to this particular only; 
and in this case leaving him his due praise and commendation 
in his other actions, as ye have heard he very well deserved. 
This defeat drew on with it the surrendering of the town 
of Berwick, the next day after, by Sir Alexander Seton, and 
of the castle by Patrick Dunbar Earl of March, lives and goods 
safe, themselves giving their oath of allegiance and fealty to 
the king of England. He commanded the Earl of March to 
re-edify the castle of Dunbar, which he, being not able to 
keep it, had demolished, that it might not be a receipt to the 
English. And within a short time this overthrow had well 
nigh overthrown the kingdom and the cause: for the greatest 
part of the nobility, that were not dead before, being slain in 
this conflict, the rest flying, to save themselves, to strengths 
and deserts; Ealiol, assisted by Robert Talbot a nobleman of 



England, whom the king had left with him, with a few En- 
lish bands, being aided by his favourers in Scotland, made 
himself once more King, and was confirmed by Parliament 
within half a year after he had been driven out: all yielded 
obedience to him, save only five castles, to wit, Lochlevin, 
Dumbarton, Kildrummie, Urquhart and Lowdonpeel, seated 
on a little lake; so that no man in Scotland durst call David 
Bruce their king, except young children in their plays: so far 
were matters altered by this check! where it is to be marked, 
that as by the wise and wary government of the same Archi- 
bald, his country and lawful king were defended, and Baliol 
chased out of his usurped kingdom: so by the same man's 
oversight in government, both the usurping Edwards (En- 
glish and Scots) are repossessed again therein, and his coun^ 
try plunged into misery, and the rightful king and his part- 
ners brought to great extremity,. 

Of so great efficacy is good or evil government; therefore 
it is so much the more circumspectly to be looked to, and to 
be exercised according to the rules of wisdom, and not after 
the opinions of men, fame, and reports, anger, or whatsoever 
other cause doth make men stray from the right and straight 
course of reason. This was the lamentable condition of our 
country. But let us have patience a while, and we shall short- 
ly have better news: both these usurpers shall before long be 
driven to let go their hold, and at last be utterly disappoint- 
ed of all their hopes and projects; God. preserving the liberty 
of this country, and the crown thereof,, to the rightful heir,, 
and the Bruce's blood, in whose posterity it shall yet prosper. 
In which work, no little part shall be the valiant and faithful 
efforts of the Douglases. Amongst whom it were requisite 
to speak of the next Lord Douglas: but the order of time 
draws me another way; it being long before his turn come in, 
even ten or twelve, or perhaps twenty years, as shall be seen 
in its own place: for he has been young, it would seem* and 
abroad cut of the country; but in his absence jcmc other o* 
the Douglases must not be idle. 



Archibaldus Duglasius ad Halidonem casus, 1333.. 
Non potuit perferre nefas, fcedamque tyranni 

Perfidiam. Et quisnam sustinicisle queat? 
Ergofurens animi, atquo accense pectore inardet . 

Prcelia, et ingratas increpat usque moras. 
Poscimus aut cequo, dixit t certamine Marlem, 

Aut certum estjatis cedere velle tuis. 
, Ah nimis! ah properant! Non Mis ignca virtus 

Defuerat: nocuit prcecipilasse nimis. 
Nee te victorem jades, temeraria virtus 

Si nocuit. Vinci vis animosa nequit. 

In English thus, 
He was not patient enough to see 
The tyrant's faithless fact. And who could be? 
Hence his enflamed breast with anger swell'd, 
Enrag'd at such impediments, as held 
His hand from just revenge. Come let us try ■ ' 
Our chance, and win the field, or bravely die. 
If fate will have it so, he said: and all 
With too much haste obey'd their general. 
No courage wanted, but the hard event 
Prov'd the act rash, and lost the punishment 
Of ill rul'd valour. Thou didst nothing gain, 
Who to his passion yields, commands in vain. 

Of William Douglas Lord of Liddisdale, called 
the Flower ofChevalry. 

JjEFORE we proceed to the rest of felie Lords of Douglas, 
the order of the history requires that we speak something of 
William, not Lord of Douglas, but Lord of Liddisdale, and 
a worthy member of the house and name of Douglas. The 
first mention of him and his actions is at the battle of Annand, 
where he was with Archibald Lord of Galloway. The last 
of his actions of importance are in the beginning of the first 
Earl William, before the battle of Durham, the space of thir- 


teen years or thereby; which time he employed for his law- 
ful king and country, against the usurpers, so diligently, as 
shall be deduced in the progress of this story. Writers call 
him natural son * to Sir James slain in Spain, which is truth: 
But they err when they say that John Lord Dalkeith was 
brother to William Lord of Liddisdale, he being Liddisdale's 
uncle and Sir James' brother; so Mr. John Major hath Da- 
vidis for Gulielmi, and Holinshed and Boetius, William for 
Archibald, who was made Captain of the Castle of Edinburgh, 
by this same William. But it is so clear and manifest whom 
they mean of, that there is no question to be made of it. 
However it be, he hath so honoured and ennobled himself 
by his virtue, that no posterity needs to inquire of his birth. 
We find that he was married to a daughter of Sir John Gra- 
ham, Lord of Abercorn, called Margaret Graham, by whom 
he got the lands of Liddisdale: he had but one only daughter, 
Mary, who was married to Sir James of Lowdon, who after 
the Lord Liddisdale's death and Margaret Graham's, got the 
lands of Liddisdale. 

His first appearing, to wit, at the battle of Annand, hath 
been spoken of; after that he was for his wisdom and man- 
hood accounted worthy to have the custody and government 
of the west marches, as the charge of the east marches was 
committed to Patrick Dunbar. Being warden there, he had 
his residence at Annand, where, at a certain skirmish with 
the English, his men were scattered, himself was hurt and 
taken prisoner, about that same time that Regent Murray 
was taken at Roxburgh, to wit, in the year 1332, before the 
battle of Halidonhill, which was the occasion that he was not 
there with his uncle, Archibald Lord of Galloway. He con- 
tinued a prisoner until 1335, and then he and Murray were 
both set at liberty, having paid a great sum of gold for their 
ransom. It is strange that these two great politicians (the 
two Edwards I mean) intending a conquest of Scollandj should 

* He is not son to James the good Lord Douglas, but son lawful to James 
Douglas de Laudonio. Charters, 

92 History of the 

have suffered such men to be set at liberty at any rate, with* 
out making them sure to their side; considering that the de- 
taining of them would greatly have facilitated their designs* 
and their liberty, being enemies, hinder and annoy them, as 
we shall hear it did net a little. It was apparently the pride 
of their hearts in that good success which made them careless 
and secure, not fearing any danger from these or any else. 
•So doth success, and pride growing thereupon, commonly 
blind men; or so doth God blind the wisdom of unjust men, 
when he hath a work to do against them. But before we 
come to the rest of the deeds of this valorous Lord, we must 
take a view of the estate of things at that time, that the cir- 
cumstances (which are the life of history and light of actions) 
being known, the actions themselves may be the better con- 

We have heard how desperately things went on the Brucian, 
which was the only right side: he that was lawful king durst 
not do so much as once offer to call him king, but the little 
children in their play, who still stiled him so; whether by a natu- 
ral inclination to their rightful prince, or by some spark of 
divine inspiration joined therewith, who can tell? or who 
knows these things? What notions will either remain of old, 
or spread of new in the hearts of men, where God's work is 
to be done? Wise men keep silence, and therefore the stones 
behoved to cry out, and foolish simple babes bear witness that 
the Bruce was king, for all the usurper's confidence and cruel- 
ty: no doubt it was with great derision and contempt of the 
hearers, but the event did justify it, that it had a secret mov- 
er. No man saw the means how it could come to pass, but 
means will not be wanting where a work is to be done. This 
ought to be a hearthirig to good subjects in their lawful prince's 
quarrel, and for good men, in all good causes, not to despair 
for want of means. Let men do their best, means will come 
from whence they least dream of: perhaps it will fall out so 
here in this case. Out from among the midst of the enemies 
the first glimpse of deliverance doth arise. 

There were that conspired against the Bruce to wrack him 


and the country, England and the Baliol's faction in Scotland^ 
and those had over-run all. There comes a blink of favour 
and hope from Rome, by the procuring of France. The 
Pope sends to King Edward of IZnglan I, to desist from invad- 
ing of Scotland; but that evanished without effect: pride had 
so far prepossessed his heart, that he thought himse-f sure to 
make a conquest of Scotland, pleasing himself in his own con- 
ceit, and supposing Scotland neither durst nor could ever 
make head against him hereafter, wher fore he will not do 
so much as give the ambassadors leave to come into his sight. 
A manifest contempt, not so much of the people, as of the 
voice of equity and reason. But he called it reason what he 
had ability to do: Stat pro ratione voluntas is the voice o£ 
tyranny; and indeed a change being to come, pride behoved 
to go before: but the working of this is obscure, and not per- 
ceived at first openly; dissension amongst the conspirators 
doth arise upon a light occasion, a gnat's wing, (as the pro- 
verb is) but it grows to a mountain. Talbot, an Englishman, 
was appointed with Baliol, as hath been said, for to govern 
Scotland; his co-adjutors for reconquering of it w r ere, amongst 
other Scots Englished, David Cuming Earl of Athole, Henry 
of Beaumont, John Mowbray an old favourer of that faction 
from the time of Edward I. of whom he had received divers 
lands, for ill service to his country; which Edward esteemed 
to be good, as indeed it was profitable to him. This John 
Mowbray was dead, and had left his lands to be divided be- 
tween his two daughters and his brother Alexander, or rather 
as a bone and a matter of debate amongst the whole faction; 
for his daughters claiming it as heirs of line, his brother by 
heir-male as entail, the case was brought to judgement. Hen- 
ry of Beaumont had married one of the daughters, he there- 
fore was inclined that way, as one that was interested. Tal- 
bot and Cuming swayed this way; Edward Bitlio! inclined to 
the other party, and gave sentence for Alexander the brother. 
Hereupon dissension ariseth; they grudge and murmur against 
the judgement; they complain of it in their open discourse 
and speeches, as -unjust; they withdrew themselves from 


court, as malecontents. Talbot goes into England, perhaps 
to complain to the king, and as he came through Lothian, he 
is taken by some of King Bruce's party, who begin to show 
their heads upon this occasion, and carried to Dumbarton, 
where he died. Beaumont put hand to work, and without 
so much as acquainting the king withal, takes Dungard, a 
strong castle in Buchan, and the rest of the lands that were 
in plea he seizeth them, and makes them his own by the law 
of the strongest. Cuming gets him into Athole, and there 
fortifies himself against whosoever should assail him. This 
terrifies Baliol so, that he retreats his sentence, and turns his 
coat; agreeth with those two, granting unto Beaumont the 
lands which he had adjudged from him, and giving Cuming 
divers other good lands which belonged to Robert Stuart, 
who shall reign afterward, to shew upon what ill ground that 
gift was founded. But is he the better for this injustice? 
for injustice it must be either first or last, he is not so much 
the better, as in likelihood he should have been; for injustice 
is never profitable. If he gain one, he loseth another; he 
wins Cuming and Beaumont, but he loseth Alexander Mow- 
bray; who thereupon jobs himself to the other party. And 
thus was this usurper's faction brangled, then bound up again, 
and after divided again by want of worth in Baliol their head. 
But this is not all; for it seems that Cuming's mind hath not 
been so much soundly reconciled to Baliol, as it hath been 
only plaistered over; which may appear to be probably col- 
lected out of the history, which they say is thus: Edward of 
England came with 50,000 men into Scotland: to what pur- 
pose so many? Was there war? None, saith he, nor rebellion 
greatly, that appeared any where. What doth he then? Doth 
he fight with any man? Doth he fortify castles? We hear no 
word of any such matter. What hath been his inten- 
tion then? Wherefore came he, and with so huge an army, 
they tell not: but let actions speak, they will tell. All a- 
gree in this, that he took away Baliol into England; there 
is one point. Then he hath been jealous of him, and 
hath feared perhaps that he would not continue long his 


vassal, as his grandfather had proof, in Baliol's father. But 
what doth he more? he leaves Cuming to guide the affairs in 
Scotland; there is another point. He makes him viceroy in 
Scotland for Baliol, and Baliol in effect prisoner in England. 
Of which course Edward of England is the author; let it be 
so, who will purge Cuming of having been a counsellor, a 
suggestor of information for his own advancement? He being 
a man thatdid ever hunt after preferment, which he made 
the scope of his actions, and compass by which he ever sail- 
ed; being also of an aspiring mind, and of a fickle and var- 
ious disposition and nature. However it be, this is another 
division in that society between the Edwards, the usurping 
king. And thus much of the state of their faction. 

Concerning the other party that stuck to the lawful Kino- 
Robert Stewart, that afterwards was king, had escaped Baliol's 
ambush: being but fifteen years of age, and by the help of 
his friends, was conveyed to the castle of Dumbarton, where 
he was received by Malcolm Fleming captain thereof. Now 
both the Edwards being absent, and he having a particular 
spleen against Cuming, who possessed his private inheritance; 
the said Robert, with the help of Colin or Duncan Campbell 
in Argyle, from whom he obtained an aid of 400 men, had 
taken the castle of Dunholm in Kyle, and destroyed the Eng- 
lish garrison there, whereupon the men of Bute, which was 
his private inheritance, had taken arms, slain Allan Lyle 
their captain and sheriff, who was placed there by Baliol and 
Cuming, and were come home very joyful to their old mas- 
ters the Stewarts. Upon this Thomas Bruce Earl of Carrick 
with his friends and neighbours of Kyle and Cunningham, 
and William Karrudise of Annandale, who had ever refused 
the English yoke, coming forth out of the place where they 
had lurked, resorted to him also. John Randulph Earl of 
Murray was returned from France, and did encourage' them 
with hopes of foreign help of Jeffrey or Godfrey Ross (sher- 
iff of Ayr) had drawn Kyle, Carrick and Cunningham to be 
of the party; Renfrew was also returned to the Stewarts. By 
their example the dependants of Andrew Murray had drawn 


all Clydesdale td them, partly by fair means, and partly by 
force. These under the command and leading of Robert 
Stewart and John Randulph, had passed into the north parts, 
chaced David Cuming, governor for the English, to Locha- 
ber and compelled him to yield, and swear obedience to Da- 
vid Bruce; notwithstanding that the enemy had committed 
to him so great a charge, as to be lieutenant for him in those 

About this time, or a little before, William Lord of Lid- 
disdale returned from his captivity, having been three years 
in prison: and he no sooner returned, than he presently be- 
gan to serve his king and country faithfully and diligently a- 
gainst both their enemies, Scots and English usurpers, re- 
compensing his long imprisonment with his enemies' losses, 
especially in Lothian: for the more easy performance hereof, 
and that he might annoy them that were in the castle of E- 
dinburgh, (which was then held by the English) and them 
that went toward it, he lay in wait in Pentland-hills. To 
him John Randulph, after that he had left David Cuming 
Earl of Athol, lieutenant for him in the north parts (Ran- 
dulph and Robert Stewart were chosen governors by the 
king's party) did adjoin himself as to his old and fast friend: 
from thence they both went to Perth, to a convention of the 
states, the 2d of April, 1335: but there was nothing done at 
that meeting, because of the enmity betwixt the Lord of 
Liddisdale and David Cuming Earl of Athol, The occasion 
was, the Lord of Liddisdale alledged that he was detained 
longer in prison than otherwise he would have been, by the 
means of the Earl of Athol, who, no doubt, did think it meet 
for Baliol and the English faction, and therefore advised them 
to keep him. And certainly he was wiser in that point than 
they that set him at liberty for ransom, Now, under colour 
and pretext of this ill-will between him and Liddisdale, Athol 
was so strongly accompanied with his servants and depend- 
ants, that the rest being jealous of his disposition, and fear- 
ing his present power, did conclude no matter of importance, 
Robert Stewart inclined towards him, but all the rest favour- 


ed the Lord of Liddisdale. Robert was young, and knew not 
the disposition of Athol, which the rest knew better, and 
what odds was between them in fidelity, which was not long 
in discovering; for King Edward of England came with a 
great army both by sea and land, and brought Baliol with 
him. As soon as he came to Perth, Athol being solicited to 
desert Bruce, he was not very hard to woo; whereas Liddis- 
dale did still his utmost endeavours for him. One of the go • 
vernors, to wit, Robert Stewart, being sick, and the other 
John Randulph, thinking it too heavy a burden for him alone 
to fight, divided his forces, that so he might the more an- 
noy the king. Now word was brought to him, that there 
was a great army of the Guelders coming through England, 
to join with Edward, and help him against the Scots. Where- 
fore Randulph passed over into Lothian, to try if he could 
conveniently intercept themj and. cut them off before they 
should join with the king. There came hither to assist Ran- 
dulph the governor, Patrick Earl of March, William Lord 
of Liddisdale, and Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, and 
others. These being assembled together, lay in wait for them 
near Edinburgh, in the Burrow-moor; and as soon as they came 
in sight one of the other, without any delay of either side, 
they joined battle, and after a great conflict, the Guelders 
were put to rout, and chased to a little hill, where was a 
ruinous castle; there they were besieged all that night, and 
the next day they rendered themselves, lives safe. 

Others write that they fled to the castle-hill of Edinburgh, 
up St. Mary's wynd or lane, defending themselves valiantly 
through the High-street, till they came to that place where 
they slew their horses, and made as it were a rampart of 
their carcases, and so saved themselves. There they staid 
all that night, and having neither meat nor drink, nor conve- 
nient lodging, cpprest with hunger, cold, and thirst, yield- 
ed themselves on the morrow. This narration seems not to 
be so probable as the former; for if it had been at the cr.stlc 
of Edinburgh, it might have made them more support, at 
least relieved the duke, and have saved him. Beridc.^ tha$ 



the town of Edinburgh should suffer strangers to piss throng?* 
the midst of them, and neither aid them, if they were friends, 
nor assail them if they were enemies, nor shut their gates if 
they were neutral, for fear of some danger to come to their 
town thereby, but suffer both parties to have free access in- 
to their chief street, and to stand as lookers-on, it has no 
great likelihood. They ascribe also the winning of the field 
to the Lord of Liddisdale, who was not, as Hollinshed says, 
present at their first joining battle, but came to it from Pent- 
land- hills in so convenient a time, that if he had not come, 
the Guelders, who fought exceeding well, had got the day. 
Others make no mention of Randulph, but of the Lord of 
Liddisdale, and Alexander Ramsay with him. 

Those that write of this battle, tell of a huge and wonder- 
ful stroke given. by Sir David Annand in his fury, he being 
hurt, struck his enemy on the shoulder with a pole-ax, and 
clave him and his horse down to the hard pavement in which 
the force of the stroke left a great mark long after. And 
no less memorable is the valour of a woman in the Guelders 
army, who, at the beginning of the battle, stepped forth be- 
fore her company, and encountered, in a single combat or 
duel, a Scottish squire named Robert Shaw, whom she slew, 
and afterwards beat down her enemies on each side, till at 
last, after a good time, she was compassed about, and so 
slain. The Duke of Guelders their captain having yielded, 
was courteously and honourably used, his stuff and baggage 
was restored to him, and himself set free. The reason of this 
was, because Randulph Earl of Murray having been bred in 
France, knew that the French king loved him; and, there- 
fore, to gratify him, he shewed him this favour, to let him 
go without any other hurt or damage; only he made him 
swear he should never aid the English again against the Scots. 
This same author says that this was not the Duke of Guelder? , 
but the Earl of Namur, called Guy, contrary to all our 
writers, who, with one consent, say that it was. And if it 
were Guy of Natnur, he had always been an enemy, and re- 
ceived greater courtesy than enemies deserve, and more fa- 



vo'ur than was expedient for the countrj: nay, Randulph 
was not content to dismiss him free only; but would needs,' 
for his safety, accompany him to England; in which journey 
they were suddenly set upon by the Lord Percy, and the Eng- 
lished Scots, who had dressed an ambuscade for them, and' 
there Randulph was taken, and the Lord Liddisdale hurt in 
the leg. The governor was carried to the two Edwards that 
lay before Perth; which town was thereupon soon after ren-. 
dered unto him. 

Upon this success of the usurper's faction, Atho'l, very glad 
of what had fallen out, accounting the prize now win, and 
following forth his fradulent policy, revolted again to the u~, 
surping kings, thinking it safest to side with the 'Strongest,- 
and did now clearly shoyv r how worthy he was of that favour 
bestowed on him by Robert Stewart, who at the convention 
at Perth, had appeared on his side against the Lord of Lid-- 
disdale. And not only did Cuming come into them, but un- 
dertakes also the government pi Scotland once more as Leu-, 
tenant for the English, promising to root out all these of 
contrary part that should stand out, and would not acknow- 
ledge their authority. The king of England, partly for want 
of victuals, which were put out of the way by the governor,, 
partly because of his journey into France, which he was then, 
projecting, returned into his own country, and took along 
with him Baliol, who had the name of a king, but was indeed 
a very slave to .another man's affection, for a. vain and empty, 
title; a just reward for his foolish trusting to a stranger, in 
prejudice of his country. 

Athol being willing to do what he had said to the Edwards, 
that he might approve his service and fidelity unto them, 
whereby he proved also false to his lawfuLking, and late ben- 
efactors, his so friendly enemies, who had not only pardoned, 
him so lately, and saved his life, but trusted him so far, and 
committed so much to. him, left no kind. of cruelty unpractis- 
ed, that he could against his country, so far, as that almost 
the whole nobility relented, and became slack and remiss a- 
gainst hinij or did yield unto him, having forgotten. their <iu 


ty. But behold the reward of such wisdom, and the due 
fruit of such seed as he had sown; a fruit that is often reaped 
of such seed, if men would believe and observe it, though the 
present apppearance, the first buds and blossoms of things do 
blind their eyes, and makes them choose that which should 
not be chosen, which is unacceptable to man, and not past 
over by God, as is seen in this man, before the year be fully 
expired: for Robert Stewart being sick, and Randulph a 
prisoner, there were left but three noblemen who stuck fast, 
and were faithful to their king and country. These were 
William Lord of Liddisdale, Patrick Earl of March, and An- 
drew Murray, who had been governor. They were so con- 
stant, that no promises could corrupt their fidelity, nor no 
threatening nor danger could quell their courage, so as to 
bow their hearts to any English servitude. Some add unto 
these the Earl of Ross, and William Lord Keith. These did 
greatly hate his unnatural dealing against his country, and 
treachery against his promise, and cruelty joined withalj 
three things ever odious and hateful to honest minds. Where- 
fore, understanding that he lay at the siege of the castle of 
Kildrummy, they levied such companies and number of men 
as they could get, and marched towards him. Cuming being" 
advertised hereof, raised the siege, and meeteth them in the 
fields within the forest of Kilbane, there they fought it very 
hardly, and Cuming being more in number, had overthrown 
them, as it is thought, but that John Craig captain Of Kil- 
drummy, issuing forth with three hundred fresh men, restor- 
ed the battle, which was almost lost, and gave them an un- 
doubted victory, which when Cuming perceived, being con- 
scious of his own ill deserving, that he might not fall into his 
enemies hands alive, he rushed into the midst of the battle, 
and so was slain: Sir Robert Menzies fled to the castle of 
Kenmuir, saith Boetius, who saith also that Alexander Gor- 
don was he that slew Athol; but others attribute it to the 
Lord of Liddisdale himself, who for that cause, and for the 
slaughter of Sir Thomas Menzies, it may be they mean Sir 
Robert, at the castle of Lochindores, in the sheriffdom of 



Banff, was rewarded with the EarVom of Athol, and is so 
stiled in the resignation, by which he surrenders it again some 
four years after, viz. 3 3*1, the 16th of February, in favour 
of Robert Stewart, great steward of Scotland, whereof the 
evidence is yet extant in the register. There died in this 
battle, besides Athol, Walter Braid and Robert Cuming, and 
a great number of others, both gentlemen and commons. Sir 
Thomas Cuming was taken prisoner, and the next day, being 
the first of January, he was beheaded. They were not above 
1000, or, as some write, 500 choice men against 3000, yet 
the event was, as we have said, favourable to the just and 
right cause. This battle was fought the last of December, 
1337. By this blink of fair weather in such a storm of for- 
eign assaults, things were again somewhat changed, and the 
Brucians encouraged: wherefore, that they might have some 
face of a settled estate and government, they choose Andrew 
Murray regent, as he had been before his captivity. He 
went into the north, and in the mean time the Lord of Lid- 
disdale, with a company of chosen men, passeth over into Fife, 
^nd besieged the castle of St. Andrews, Falkland and Leu- 
chars; all which he took in with small difficulty, by his wis- 
dom and manhood, though they were strongly manned, and 
well fortified, and furnished with ammunition and victuals. 
Major referreth this to the time after the governor came back 
out of the north. After this, he returned into Lothian to his 
old haunt in Pentland-hills to wait his time, and watch the 
English that lay in Edinburgh castle, that he might slip no 
occasion of troubling and molesting them. At last this occa- 
sion did happen; the town being full stuffed with a great num- 
ber of soldiers, both English and Scots: there was a Scotchman 
amongst them of a stout stomach, named Robert Phander^ 
ghest, whose lot was fallen to be on that side, but his heart 
was with the other party, and he carried no great good will 
to the English. This being perceived, he was the worse 
treated by them; so that one day his head was broken by the 
marshall Thomas Knaveton, whereat taking indignation, he 
sought all means to be avenged thereof, and so brought it to 


pass that he shortly after slew him; and to avoid the danger of 
punishment, fled to the Lord of Liddisdale, whom having in- 
formed of the negligence that was grown among the English, 
he persuaded him to take advantage of their sloth; he, nothing 
slack in a business of that nature, went secretly in the night to 
the town, and slew four hundred of them in their sleep and 
drunkenness, before they could make any resistance. 

About this time Murray the regent died after he had 
brought back all t-he northern parts of Scotland to his prince's 
obedience, excepting Perth, a great loss for his country, and 
he greatly regreted: but no loss is without some gain, Ro- 
bert Stewart had now recovered his health, who was the other 
governor; and, as some write, he assumed the Lord Liddis- 
dale for his coleague; whether that where so or not, and 
whatever his place and name was, he was a notable adjunct to 
Robert Stewart, and under his authority performed much 
good service, and profitable to king and country, with great 
hazard of his life, by receiving of many wounds, while he did 
assail and vanquish greater numbers with i<L? fewer; so that 
by his prowess and singular valour, he reduced Tiviotdale, 
Nithsdale, Anandale, and Clydesdale, except the Hermitage, 
to the kind's obedience, having expulsed from thence all the 
English. These lands and strengths were lost again after the 
battle of Durham, and recovered again the second time by 
William the first Earl of Douglas, which we have inserted 
here, lest men inconsiderately should confound and mistake 
the one William for the other. 

By these doings his name came to be spread throughout the 
whole island, insomuch that Henry Lancaster Earl of Derby 
hearing thereof, and being himself a valiant man, and desir- 
ous of glory, provoked him to fight with him hand to hand 
on horseback: but at their first encounter, the Lord of Liddis- 
dale's hand was so sore wounded with his own spear,* which 
brake hard at his hand, that he was not able to prosecute the 
combat, whereupon it was delayed. Major maketh mention. 

• Andrew Winton savs, that it was the E«rl of Derby's sfcaf. 


of his justing, and joineth Alexander Ramsay with him at 
Berwick: he telleth also of one Patrick Graham, who being 
provoked and challenged by an Englishman into the field, 
told him he was content; but wished him to dine well, for 
he would send him to sup in paradise, which he also did. 
Hereupon he condemns these justs and duels in time of peace, 
so that it would seem there has been some peace or truce; 
but we hear not of any, I do rather think there hath been 
some assurance at that time. 

That same year the King of England sent a very valiant 
knight named Sir Thomas Barclay, into Scotland, with a 
great power of men, to assist their faction. Robert Stewart 
and the Lord Liddisdale go against him, and gave him battle 
at Blackburn, where the Lord of Liddisdale fought so eager- 
lv, that all his men being slain, he and Robert Stewart hav- 
ing only three left with them, continued still fighting, and 
defended themselves till night, which being come on, by fa- 
vour thereof they escaped, and saved themselves by flight. 

It was not long before he recompensed this loss, by the de- 
feating of John Stirling and his company. This Stirling with 
500 men assaulted the Lord Liddisdale at unawares, at a place 
called Cragens, having but forty in his company, as he was 
journeying without any fear or suspicion of an enemy. This 
put him into a great fear at first, but he recollecting him- 
self out of that sudden affright, fought so valiantly that he 
defeated Stirling, slew fifty of his men, and took forty pris- 

Afterward the English that lay at Crichton made divers 
onsets and incursions upon him, in one of which he was run 
through the body with a spear, and was thereby disabled to 
do any service for a season. 

So soon as he was recovered, being accompanied with 
twenty men only, he set upon sixty English, at a place called 
The black Shave, and having wisely taken the advantage of 
the ground, which was fitter for foot than horsemen, he slew 
and took them every one. 

In the same year, 1338, the 24th of December, or, as 


ethers, the 2d of November, he set upon the convoy of the 
English that were carrying victuals to the castle of Hermitage, 
as they were in Melross, or near to it, and defeated them, 
but not without great slaughter of his own men; and so hav- 
iug got the victuals, he went and besieged the castle of Her- 
mitage, took it, and did victual it with the same victuals which 
he had taken at Melross. 

He vanquished also Lawrence Vauch, alias Holland Vauch, 
a very valiant man, with a great company of Englishmen. 

And in the year following, 1839, he fought five times in 
one day with Lawrence, or William Abernethie, a leader un- 
der Baliol, and having been put to the worse four times, saith 
Hollinshed, Boetius, five times, at the sixth time vanquished 
him, and slew all his men, and took himself prisoner, and 
thereafter presented him to Robert Stewart, who sent him to 
the castle of Dumbarton. For these, and such other exploits 
atchieved by him, he was highly esteemed of all men, and 
got the name which is commonly used of him, The Flower 

He was after this sent ambassador into France, to inform 
Kins David of the state of the realm, and to confer with him 
about weighty matters, being either chosen for his worth, or 
only sent by Robert Stewart as his colleague, and so fittest 
for that employment. While he was there he obtained par- 
don of the King of France, and peace for one Hugh Hambel 
a famous pirate. 

During his absence in France, Robert Stewart had laid siege 
to St. Johnston in the year 1339, and had divided his army 
into four squadrons, under four chief captains, each captain 
commanding; a part, of which he himself was one, the Earl of 
March another, William Earl of Ross the third, and Magnus 
Mowbray, Lord of Clydesdale, the fourth. It was divers 
times assaulted, but they were repulsed with loss, it being 
valiantly defended by the English that were within. They 
had lain at it ten weeks without doing any good, and were 
now almost quite out of hope to take it; so that they began 
to think of leaving off,, when, in the very mean time, the 



Lord Liddisdale arrives on Tay; having brought with him 
out of France, Hambel the pirate, with five ships well furnish- 
ed with men, ammunition and weapons. These men the 
Lord Liddisdale had hired in France in purpose for this busi- 
ness: amongst them were two knights of the family of Castle- 
Galliard, and two Esquires, Giles de la Hayes, and John de 
Breise. He landed a part of the soldiers, and left the rest 
in the ships to keep the mouth of the river, and he himself 
marched to Coupar in Fife to take it. It had been deserted 
by the Englishmen for want of victuals in the time of Murray 
the governor, and now again it was seized by the Englished 
Scots for the use of the English. Their captain at this time 
was one William Bullock an English priest, but a valiant man, 
who was also treasurer for them and the faction. The Lord 
Liddisdale deals with him, that seeing there was no hope of 
succour from England, and that the Scots garrison was not to 
be trusted to, he would forsake the English faction, and enter 
into King David's service, promising to procure him lands in 
Scotland. Bullock accepted his offer, and having obtained 
his promised lands, he did much service afterward to the king 
and the Lord of Liddisdale. Having by this means recover- 
ed Coupar, he returned to the siege of St. Johnston, where, 
as he was ever forward, he was hurt in the leg with the shoe 
of a cross bow, going to the scalade, nevertheless he departed 
not till the town was taken, or given up by the governor 
thereof Thomas Uthred, The manner of the taking of it 
was this: when the siege had lasted four months, and was 
like to have continued longer, the Earl of Ross, by digging 
of mines, drew away the water, and dried up the fosses and 
ditches; so that the soldiers going to the assault upon dry 
ground, and approaching the walls without any let or difficul- 
ty, beat the defenders from off the walls, especially by shoot- 
ing of darts and arrows out of the engines which they had 
caused make; and so they rendered, and departed with bag 
and baggage in the year 1340. 

Within four days after Stirling was also besieged, and ren- 
dered on the same conditions. 


After the siege of St. Johnston was ended, the Lord Lid- 
disdale rewarded the Frenchmen very liberally, and sent them 
back into France well contented. He caused also restore to 
Hugh Hambel one of his best ships, which was taken by the 
enemy during the siege; for Hambel having adventured to 
approach the town with his ships to give an assault, one of 
them was taken by the English, and now was restored. 

Thus King David's party did flourish by the faithful valour 
of these his good and notable subjects, and prevailed against the 
pretended King Baliol/who seeing such success in King David's 
affairs, durst show his face no longer; but having lurked a 
while in Galloway, by changing and shifting places for fear of 
being intercepted, and wearying of that kind of life, he re- 
turns into England now the second time after his conquest: 
he did not possess his kingdom long: and but with little ease 
or contentment, what by the king of England, his good mas- 
ter, detaining of him little better than a captive: a shadow of 
a kingdom, or slavery rather, being miserable indeed, yet 
sees he not his misery, but seeketh it again, and loseth it 

But let us return to our Lord of Liddisdale, who desists 
not here from doing of good service to his king and country. 
Edinburgh castle is yet in the possession of the English, it 
was too strong ^o force; wisdom must supply, which was not 
lacking in him, no more than valour, a good harmony, and 
happy conjunction, which were ever to be wished. There 
was one Walter Towers, of whom are descended the Towers 
of Innerlieth, a man of his acquaintance, and a follower of 
him, had by chance a ship laden with victual in the Frith of 
Tay beside Dundee, Liddisdale causeth him to bring about 
his ship to Forth, where, as he was instructed, feigning himself 
to be an English merchant, and sending some flagons of very 
fine wine to the captain cf the castle, he prayed him to take 
him into his protection, and that he would give such order 
as the rest of his victual might be free from all danger and 
peril of his soldiers, and of the enemy; promising that if the 
garrison in the castle had need of any thing, he should com- 


Miand any thing that was in his power, so far as it could reach. 
The captain desired him to send some hogsheads of the same 
vrine, and some biscuit-bread, and promised him access when 
he pleased: he further warned him, that he should come- 
timely in the morning, for fear of the Scots, that did make 
frequent onsets and incursions in those parts. The Lord of 
Liddisdale being advertised hereof, chooseth out twelve of 
his best men, and the same night goeth out to Walter Tower's 
ship, and he and his men having borrowed the mariners ap- 
parel, did put it on above their armour, and so went to the 
castle, carrying the wine and victual with them. He had be- 
fore placed the rest of his men as near as he could, that they 
might be in readiness, upon a sign given them, to come to 
the castle to his aid. Liddisdale himself, with Simon Frascr 
and William Bullock, (say our writers, but his name was Sir 
John Bullock) went a little before, and the rest followed a 
certain space after. When they were let in within the bul- 
wark, perceiving the keys of the castle hanging upon the 
porter's arm, they slew him, and without noise opened the 
gate, and presently gave the signal, by winding of a horn. 
This sound gave warning both to his friends and enemies, 
that the castle was taken: both made haste, the one to defend, 
the other to pursue; but^the Scots having a steep hill to as- 
cend, behoved to come forward the more sjowlyj for that 
cause, lest their Lord should be excluded from his men, they 
cast down the carriage in the gate to keep it open, and hav- 
ing fought a sharp fight, at last they that were within gave 
place: the captain with six more were taken, the rest were all 
slain: and having thus won the castle, he made his brother 
William Douglas* (say they, but should call him Archibald) 
keeper and captain thereof. 

This same year, or the next, 13 42, the 30th of March, 
Alexander Ramsay took Roxburgh in Tiviotdale, and soon 
after John Randulph was set at liberty in exchange for John 

* Our Historian is right, for lie had a brother designed in chartars, IVHU- 
$nus Doi'glas. senior, frater ejus. 

3 08 


Montague taken in France, saith Major, and took his own 
castle of Lochmaben in Annandale. 

So that by the industry and efforts of these three wardens, 
the Lord Liddisdale, in the middle march, Alexander Ram- 
say in the east, and John Randulph in the west, the English 
were wholly expelled out of Scotland beyond the borders, 
which happened in the time of Edward III. neither did the 
Englishmen possess one foot of Scottish ground, excepting 
the town of Berwick. Such good service did these noble- 
men, with the other good nobility, in the minority and ab- 
sence of their prince from his country, against the great force 
of England, and a great part of their own country of Scot- 
land, being unfaithful subjects, unnatural Scotchmen; and 
this these nobles did, even for the love they bore to King 
Robert, this David's father, bearing the heat of the day for 
him, while he is at ease and security, with watching, hunger, 
thirst, cold, and great effusion of their blood, to make the 
kingdom peaceable to him, choosing to adventure their lands, 
their lives, and whatsoever worldly thing is dear unto men, 
rather than to abandon him, and follow his enemies with 
ease and quietness, under whom they might have lived a 
peaceable life, if they would set aside regard unto their hon- 
our and duty. 

Such is the force of the love of subjects, beyond all strength 
of men and riches of treasures, only able to endure a stress 
and hold out, as may be seen by this example to be remark- 
ed greatly by subjects, and entertained above all treasure by 
sovereigns, and to be accounted a chief, yea almost the only 
point of true policy, to love and make much of all men, and 
especially their nobility, that they may in such their prince's 
straits, when they shall happen, endure the better as these 
men did, which they could not have done, if they had not 
had authority and dependence, and been so respected by their 
inferiors, whoever would diminish this authority in noblemen, 
abasing them too far, and making them suspect to princes, 
and not safe for them, they err greatly in policy, and unad- 
visedly cut the props of the prince's standing, which being 



brangled but a little, his kingdom is easily bereft him, alt 
authority going away with his own person. It fell well out 
with King David Bruce that these noblemen were not so, and 
therefore the more able to do great things for him. 

After these things they sent ambassadors to desire Kin«r 
David to come home, and so he did the 2d of June that same 
year. His first act was carefully to inquire for, and grateful- 
ly to reward such as had suffered in his service; a prudent 
act: but alas, the malkeur, it falleth often out, that princes 
know not all things, and before they be informed, they many 
times conclude: the cause of many errors and much mischief 
has happened thereby, as it fell out here. We have heard 
how the Lord Liddisdale, among many of his notable ser- 
vices, had in particular expelled the English out of Tiviot- 
dale, and diverse other places, by his wisdom and valour, 
and was therefore rewarded with the same lands which he en- 
joyed afterwards as his rightful inheritance: from thenceforth 
he so used it, as in a manner conquered by himself. He 
was warden, and so defended it, defending ministry justice, 
and discharged the place and office of sheriff, having won ic 
from the enemy. This he did with the tacit consent of the 
country, and by allowance of those that were in authority. 

Thus being in possession, and .trusting to his deserving 
towards his king and country, and the nobility of his blood, 
and potency of that house he was come of, he looked for 
no competitor in that which he had taken frcm the enemr; 
and not knowing, or not caring for the law, as is customary 
to martial men, or perhaps being prevented, being slower 
in going to King David, or on some such like occasion, the 
sheriffship is given from him to another. Alexander Ram- 
say was amongst the first that welcomed King David at his 
return, and was received kindly as he had merited, and much 
made of by him, who for his service gave him the keeping 
of the castle of Roxburgh, and together with it (whether of 
the king's own free and mere motion, or any other sugges- 
tion, or by Ramsay's procurement) the sheriffship of Teviot- 
dale; very unadvisedly, if he knew Lidcisdale's interest, 

310 history of ths 

very ill formed if he knew it not; very imprudently, say 
our writers, who blame the king's indiscretion for giving 
it from William Douglas Lord of Liddisdale, to Alexander 
Ramsay, and for withdrawing of it from so worthy a man, so 
well deserving to whomsoever, for that was to make a division 
among his own: so it proved, for William Douglas of Liddis- 
dale took it very highly that Alexander Ramsay should be 
preferred before him to that office; but he was chiefly incens- 
ed against the taker of it, as having done him a great indig- 
nity, which makes it apparent, that he hath not only accepted 
of it, but sued for it; therefore, set altogether on revenge, ha 
suppressed his anger for the present; but after some three 
months, as Alexander Ramsay was exercising the office in 
Hawick, and looked for no such thing, he set upon him, and 
having slain three of his men that stood to the defence of theiir 
master, he hurt him, and casting him on a horse, carried 
Jiirn to the Hermitage, where he died of famine, according 
to the testimony of sundry of our writers, and the black book 
of Scoon, where it is shewn that he was taken the 20th of 
June, and kept seventeen days without meat, save that some 
few grains of corn, which, falling down out of a corn-loft 
which was above him, were gathered by him and eaten. 

Such is the unbridledness of anger, justly called fury, to. 
be greatly blamed in him; yet they mark the cause thereof, 
the king's unadvisedness, in procuring thereby the loss and 
ruin of so worthy a man of war, far from his father's prudence 
a od probity. The king, not yet acquainted with military dispo- 
sitions, was marvellously moved therewith, and intended to 
have punished it examplary, to deter others from doing the 
like; and therefore caused search very diligently to have ap- 
prehended Liddisdale, but in vain, for he withdrew himself to 
the mountains and desert places, and in time obtained pardon 
by the suit of his friends, of whom he had purchased good 
store by his worthy acts for the liberty of his country, among 
whom Robert Stewart, the king's sister's son, was his special 
good friend. That which most effectually served to procure 
kirn favour, -was the magnific, but true commemoration cf 

house of douglas. 


the great exploits atchieved by him, the consideration of the 
time, in respect whereof (the peace being uncertain without, 
and things not very quiet at home) military men were to ba 
entertained, and used with all favour. By this occasion he did 
not only obtain pardon for his fault, but he got also the gift of 
keeping of the castle of Roxburgh, and sheriffship of Teviot- 
dale, (and all other of his lands in Teviotdale, or elsewhere, re- 
stored to him) which the other had, and which were the cause 
of the slaughter. This clemency of King David was perhaps 
profitable for that time, but pernicious in example: this fell 
out, as hath been said, three months afrer the king's comma- 
home; and therefore in October, or perhaps in September, 
at the head court in Hawick, his pardon was obtained, and 
his peace made with the king a little before the battle of Dur- 
ham, which was in the year 1346, the 17th of October; so 
that he was three or four years a banished man. 

After his return from banishment, finding the king bent 
upon his journey against England, he wisely and earnestly 
dissuaded him, and did exhort him first to take order with 
the disorders at home, and before all things to settle them: 
for the Earl of Ross had slain the Lord of the Isles, wherebv 
a great party of the king's army was diminished, the Lord of 
the Isles' men lying back for want of a head, and so the Lord 
Ross and his men for fear of punishment. So did also many 
others that lay near them, retire and go home, fearing lest they 
should suffer in their absence by their neighbourhood to those 
disagreeing lords, and be some way damaged; wherefore 
they thought good to provide in time, the best they could, 
against all perils that might happen: for this cause he coun- 
selled the king, first to settle peace with his own subjects before 
he enterprized a foreign war; that, peace beino- settled, and 
his army united, he might the more strongly and with better 
success invade England. But the king contemning his T od 
and wholesome counsel, (his French friendship prevatlin^ 
more with him than either his own good or the good of his 
country) he raised an army wherewith he entered England, 
and was countered by the English at Durham, wher 2 the 


Scots were defeated, King David Bruce taken prisoner, and 
with him, beside others, William Earl of Douglas and the 
Lord of Liddisdale, who were shortly after ransomed or dis- 
missed, so much the more easily, for that they had the king, 
and so cared the less for others. This fell out in the year 
J 346, October the 17th, as hath been said. 

While the Lord Liddisdale was a prisoner among his ene- 
mies, he did not forget his friends at home. Sir David Bar- 
clay had slain one John Douglas, brother to Sir William, 
and father to Sir James of Dalkeith, (say our writers) besides 
Horsewood; but they should say rather, brother to Sir Wil- 
liam, for there Sir William is the same Lord of Liddisdale, of 
whom we now speak, natural son to good Sir James; neither 
was John Douglas slain in Horsewood, but in Kinrosshire, by 
Lochlevin. This Barclay also had taken Sir John Bullock 
at the king's command, and put him in prison in Lindores, 
where he died of hunger almost in the same sort that Sir 
Alexander Ramsay died. The writers lay the blame on the 
nobility that envied so worthy a man, and accused him false- 
ly to the king of unfaithfulness; but they tell not what point. 
They themselves call him a worthy chaplain, of great wisdom, 
singular prudence and eloquence, beyond any in his time, 
who had been chamberlain to Edward Baliol, treasurer to the 
rest of the Englishmen in Scotland, and lastly, chamberlain 
to King David, and amongst the chief of his counsellors re- 
puted as another Hushai. Nevertheless, thus was he delated 
and taken away, having done divers good offices in the com- 
mon-wealth, and being very necessary unto it. The Lord of 
Liddisdale had drawn him from the English faction to King 
David's party, and he had used him in good services, where- 
of he was not forgetful, ever remaining one of his special 
friends. This giveth men matter of suspicion, that his death 
was for ill-will to the Lord of Liddisdale by the king incens- 
ed against him, never disgesting in heart the death of Sir 
Alexander Ramsay, whereby the king is blamed, as counsel- 
lor or follower thereof; and that Sir David Barclay, enemy 
to him, did execute it willingly, or did procure the king's 


command thereto. The taking of the castle of Edinburgh, 
in the year 134-1, by the Lord of Liddisdale, was plotted by 
Sir John Bullock, say the writers, who in quickness of wit, 
and sharpness of invention, past all men in his days. In re- 
venge of this, Liddisdale causeth slay Sir David Barclay, by 
the hands of Sir John St. Michael, (say they) but they should 
have said, Carmichael in Aberdeen. A just fact, but not 
justly done: the matter was good, the form ill, being be- 
side and against all order: but who could wait for order 
in so disordered a country? When should he by order of 
law have obtained justice, his prince being in captivity? 
His duty to his friends defendeth the fact; the state of 
the country excuseth the form. God looketh not so 
upon things: he had before (as we have heard) slain Sir Alex- 
ander Ramsay, he must not want his own share; but who 
durst do it? The avenger of blood finds means. Such is the 
state of man, what can they lean to on earth? Before he 
do not pay that debt of blood, the Earl of Douglas shall 
exact it; his chief, his cousin, and to add that also, his own 
son in baptism, as the Lord of Liddisdale was to the Earl of 
Douglas, for the black book of Scoon calleth him his spirit- 
ual father; and thus it came to pass. 

The Lord of Liddisdale being at his pastime, hunting hi 
Etrick-forest, was beset by William Earl of Douglas, and such 
as he had ordained for that purpose, and there assailed, 
wounded and slain beside Galsewood in the year 1353, upon 
a jealousy that the Earl had conceived of him with his lady, 
as the report goeth; for so says the old sonr: 

The Countess of Douglas out of her hour she came, 
And loudly there that she did call; 
It is for the Lord of Liddisdale 
That I let all these tears down fall. 

The song also declareth how she did write her love letters 
to Liddisdale, to dissuade him from that hunting. It tolls 
likewise the manner of the taking of his men, and his ownr 
killing at Galsewood, and how he was carried the first night 



to Lindin Kirk, a mile from Selkirk, and was buried withia 
the abbacy of Melross. 

The pretended cause of this slaughter, is by our writers 
alleged to be the killing of this Alexander Ramsay and Sir 
David Barclay, and some other grudges; and so the Earl said 
himself, as they say: and so it was indeed, if we look unto 
God. But who doth believe him, that it was on his part? 
No writers, no report, no opinion of men doth believe it, 
even to this day. They lay the cause on his ambition, on 
his envy of Liddisdale's honour, and jealousy of his great* 
ness. Reason sways to the same side, and brings great if 
not necessary arguments: for what had he to do with Alex- 
ander Rarflsay, that he should for his sake dip his hands in 
his own blood? Far less for Sir David Barclay, on whom he 
himself should have taken vengeance, if the Lord Liddisdale 
had not done it; this John Douglas whom Barclay slew being 
so near to himself: but something must be said to colour 
things. But this will not colour this blemish, though in a 
fair body, indeed as we shall see hereafter. Doth ambition 
spring from a great mind? Doth envy, of virtue? Jealousy, of 
hatred? Let noble hearts avoid them; it is the basest thought 
that can fall into a man's mind. Right minds love virtue, 
even in strangers, even in enemies; generous minds strive to 
do better, not to hinder such as do well. It is a strange max- 
im and ill-grounded, a wicked wisdom and perverse policy, 
to keep back one's friend in whom virtue appears. It is the 
greatest of follies, to hinder their growth, for fear they 
should overgrow our greatness; which when we do, it comes 
to pass that we are overgrown by strangers, and often by our 
enemies; yea undermined oftentimes, while our friends thus 
kept under are unable to underprop us, as they both should 
and would do; a just reward to so unjust wisdom. But for 
themselves to put hand in them for their worth, I can find 
no name to it. I must wish this nobleman had been free 
from so foul a blot, and I would fain vindicate him; and 
some small appearance there is that it was not his deed: but 
the current of witnesses lay it upon him; and who can con- 


tend against all the world? Wherefore let us regret it, and 
not allow it; avoid it, and not excuse it or follow it, as we 
are too ready to follow evil examples. 

Thus he lived, and thus he died, for whose eulogium, 
short but worthy, let it be said, as it was then blazed in the 
mouths of men, and cited by the manuscript, He ivas terri- 
ble and dreadful in arms; meek, mild and gentle in peace; 
the scourge of England, and sure buckler and wall of Scot- 
land; •whom neither hard success could make slack, nor pros- 
perous slothful. He is stiled by the writers, A Second to 
none; and by consent of that age, and voice of the people, 
The Flower of Chevalry. He was often wounded, thrice a 
prisoner, and ever ready to fight again. What manhood, 
what wisdom behoved it to be, with fifty men, to overcome 
five hundred; with twenty, to take and slay sixty? What in- 
vincible mind was it, that being defeated five times in one 
day, he had the courage to fight and overcome the sixth time?' 
Let Hannibal wonder at Marcellus, that neither overcoming 
nor overcome, would suffer him to rest: yet was he not thus 
restless, that we read of; a worthy branch of such a stock, 
a true member of such a house, well retaining that natural 
sap, sucked from his predecessors, of valour, and of love to. 
bis country. And thus far concerning the name of Douglas 
in this branch thereof, in the time of the minority or absence 
of the chief. Now let us return to the principal stock, the 
Earl of Douglas. 

Giilielmus Douglassius Liddalianus, 1S33, casus. 
Omnia quando habeas, qua; Mars dedi't omnibus, unus t 

Ut Mars Marteferoxfulminet alia tuo; 
Hoc patere ut patiare parem: tibi defuit unum hoc. 

Quin age, posce hostem: castera solus habcs. 

In English thus, 
Whilst thou alone all valour didst enjoy, 
Mars doth bestow on those he would employ. 
One only virtue wanting, doth appear, 
To make thee excellent: thou couldst not bear 
An equal. Bate this pride, and thou shalt have. 
This honour, Never soldier was more brave. 


Of William the Fifth of that Name, the Tenth Lord, 
and First Earl of Douglas. 

\j NTO Hugh the ninth Lord of Douglas, did f succeed 
his nephew William, son to Archibald Lord of Galloway, 
and governor of Scotland, who was slain at Halidon-hill . Of 
this William the other great branch of Douglases doth spring; 
to wit, the house of Angus, which overtopped the rest, 
and at last succeeded unto the place of the stock. It was 
he also that raised the house to the dignity of an Earldom, 
and greatly increased the state thereof. That he was son 
to Archibald, and not to Sir James, as some do mistake it, 
is clear by divers confirmations, in which Sir James is express- 
ly termed his uncle, and Archibald his father: and so doth 
the charter witness, upon which the confirmation proceeds. 
The charter is given by Hugh Lord Douglas, brother and 
Heir' to the late Sir James Douglas, to William son and heir 
to Archibald, brother to good Sir James Douglas. It is dat- 
ed at Aberdeen the 28th of May 1342. The king's charter 
likewise clear eth it, bearing, David B?i gratia, fyc. Sciaiis 
nos concessisse, fyc. GuUelmo Domino de Douglas, saith the 
one ; Covfrmasse dilecto, etfdcli nostro GuUelmo de Doug- 
las militi, saith the other, omncs terras reditus, ct posses- 
sianes, per totum regnum nostrum, de quibus quondam 
Jacobus Dominns de Douglas avunculus suus, et Archibaldus 
de Douglas pater suus milites obierunt vestiti. 

Concerning his marriage, we find that he had three wives: 
the first was Margaret, daughter to the Earl of Dunbar and 
March; bv whom he had two sons,* James slain at Otterburn, 
and Archibald called the grim, Lord of Galloway and after- 
wards Earl of Douglas; and one daughter married to the Lord 

* This is a mistake, for in a charter granted by Margaret Countess of 
Douglas and Earl of Mar, he is expressly said to be her son. This charter 
ii» in the Cartulary of Aberdeen, p. 24. 


of Montgomery. His second wife was Margaret Mar, 
daughter to Donald or Duncan Earl 6f Mar, and afterwards 
heir and inheritrix to that Earldom: for this Duncan had but 
one son named Thomas, and this Margaret: Thomas was 
twice married; by his first marriage he had one only son, 
named Thomas also: this second Thomas was married to 
Marjory sister to this William Earl of Douglas, but died 
without issue; his fathef Thomas married a second wife, 
Margaret Stewart, who was inheritrix of the Earldom of 
Angus, but he had no children by her: so that there bein^ 
none now left of Duncan's race but this Margaret Mar, mar- 
ried to the Earl of Douglas, we find him stiled Earl of Mar 
in his wife's right, in the year 1378, whereof divers monu- 
ments and evidences yet extant do bear witness. By this 
Margaret Mar he had one Only daughter Isabel Douglas, who 
did succeed to the Earldom of Mar. She was twice marri- 
ed; first, to Malcolm Lord Drummond, by whom she had 
no children; secondly, to Alexander Stewart son to the Earl 
of Buchan, brother to King Robert III. but had no children 
by him neither; yet she did resign the Earldom in his favour, 
as appears by a charter given thereupon by King Robert III. 
to him and his heirs; which failing, unto her and her 
heirs. Thirdly, the Earl of Douglas, after the decease 
of ^Targaret Mar, took for his third wife Margaret Stew- 
art, daughter to Thomas Stewart Earl of Angus, and his 
heir \md inheritrix of the lands and Earldom of Angus. 
This Thomas was son to John Stewart, and brother to 
Walter Stewart, the great steward of Scotland, who mar- 
ried Marjory Bruce, daughter to King Robert Bruce. Now 
this Margaret had a brother who died without issue, and a 
sister called Elizabeth, married to Alexander Hamilton of 
Gadyow. Margaret Stewart herself was first married to 
Thomas Mar Earl of the same, and son to Duncan or Don- 
ald, but had no children by him. Then she was married 
to this William Earl of Douglas, by whom she had a son 
named George. This George succeeded to her in the Earl- 
dom of Angus, and by gift of his sister Isabel Douglas in- 


heritrix of Mar, he got the lands that she had gotten from 
her father: which disposition Isabel made to her brother 
George, and not to James or Archibald, for good considera- 
tions to be related at large hereafter, when we shall come to 
treat of the house of Douglas. 

And so we see him very fortunate and honourable in his 
marriage, in his purchases, and in his children; his honoura- 
ble mind appears in his deportment to his sister Uterine, 
whom the writers call Eleonora de Bruce, to whom he gives 
no less than the Barony of Wester Calder in maritagium to 
herj and her heirs whatsoever, with her husband Sir James 
Sandilands, as the transcript of the charter bears, extracted 
by James Douglas Lord Dalkeith, April 4th, 1420. The 
charter itself is not dated, but the giver is clear, Gulielmus 
Douglas dominies loci ejusdem, and Sir James' entail doth 
clear it, in which he is called Earl of Douglas and Mar. This 
Eleonora Bj-uce had to her father Robert Bruce, some call him 
Alexander, son to Edward, slain in Ireland, and cousin'-ger- 
man to King Robert. He was Earl of Carrick, and after the 
death of Archibald Lord of Galloway, he married his relict, 
this Earl's mother, and had by her this lady Eleonora, who, as 
we have said, was married to Sir James Sandilands. In regard 
of this marriage, and the donation of these lands, that house 
of Sandilands gave the coat of the house of Douglas, a heart, 
and three mullets, which none else hath besides him, except 
those of the name of Douglas. 

This Earl William was bred in France, and, as the manu- 
script beareth, most part in the wars: his first return to Scot- 
land was before the battle of Durham, some few years, which 
appears by the forenamed charter given him by his uncle in 
the year 1342. Touching his actions after his return, the 
first was a hard entry at the battle of Durham, where the 
king made many knights, to stir them up to fight valiantly; 
and first he created William Lord Douglas an Earl. In the 
morning, being warden, he is sent to view the English camp, 
and engaged among them before he was aware; he had a . 
number of his men shin, and himself also narrowly escape-.. 


In the battle (being leader of the van-guard) he was taken, 
and the king himself likewise, with many others. But his 
success after this is more fortunate: for the better understand- 
standing whereof, let us remember the state of affairs of the 
country of Scotland at that time. 

After King David Bruce was taken prisoner at the field of 
Durham, the English repossessed themselves of Merse, Tiviot- 
dale, Liddisdale, and Lawderdale: so that their marches were 
Cockburnspath and Sowtray, and from that to Carnilops, and 
the Cross-carne. Baliol had got again his old inheritance in 
Galloway, and wasted Annandale, Nithisdale and Clydesdale, 
with fire and sword, and had also, with Percy, over-run Lo- 
thian: neither could there be an army made up in Scotland 
to resist him for some few years; so that Baliol behaved him- 
self again as king: but we hear of no obedience he got by the 
good will of the people. The Scots had chosen Robert Stew- 
art (who was king afterward) to be governor hi, the king's 
absence, but no great action is recorded, that he was able to 
take in hand at such time, and in such a state of his country. 
The Earl of Douglas being ransomed or dismissed, the more 
easily, for that they had the king in their power, returned 
home. Thereafter there fell out a matter very greatly to 
be lamented, that it should have fallen into the hands of so 
worthy a person, the killing of the Lord of Liddisdale by the 
Earl. Let me never excuse such a fact; I may well be sorry 
for it: but I wonder at this, that the Earl, after his slaughter, 
should have obtained his whole estate; not only that which 
he did acquire for his own virtue and valour in the borders, 
as Liddisdale, with the sheriffship of Roxburgh or Teviotdale, 
but also those lands which he had got by his wife, as Dal- 
keith, Newlands, Kilbucho, &c. But being rightly consider- 
ed, it seems not so strange*, for after the Lord of Liddisdale 
had slain Sir Alexander Ramsay, the king apparently hath 
never pardoned him from his heart. But being still incensed 
against him, as may appear in that the king allowed, or ra- 
ther moved Sir David Barclay in the action of taking and 
slaying Sir John Bullock, a special friend of the Lord of Lid- 


disdale; and for ill-will and spite of him, say our writers, and 
that his anger being renewed, and increased by the killing of 
Sir David Barclay; it is possible the king hath been well pleas- 
ed to hear and know of his ruin; whereupon the Earl of 
Douglas, there being none so able to do it as he, being his 
chief and kinsman, having his own particular grudge, was en- 
couraged to make him away; and having done it, hath ob- 
tained his lands the more easily. Our histories testify that 
the house and name of Douglas was divided against itself, 
pursuing each other for many years together, with much 
bloodshed, and all upon this occasion. Belike the marriage 
of the Lord Liddisdale's daughter to Sir James Douglas of 
Lowden, Kincavel, and Caldercleer, hath been or should have 
been made in his own time, which hath moved the Douglases 
of Dalkeith, Caldercleer, and them of Strabrock to make 
head against the Earl, as those who did most resent that 
slaughter. But at last the Earl (as commonly remorse com- 
eth after blood) repenting, or at the intercession of friends, 
gives the lands of Dalkeith, Newlands and Kilbucho, to Mary, 
daughter to the Lord of Liddisdale, by resignation in favour 
of her, as is extant in our public register, to regain the fa- 
vour and dependence of his friends that were alienated from 
him, retaining Liddisdale and his other border lands and of- 
fices in his own person: for we find in the register James 
Douglas son to William Earl of Douglas and Mar, stiled Lord 
of Liddisdale, in a letter of pension of 200 merks sterling 
granted to him by King Robert, the first of the Stewarts. 

His first care was to deliver his own inheritance from the 
English bondage; for which purpose having gathered together 
a company of his friends: he recovered Douglasdale from 
them, having slain and chased them every man out of it: 
then encouraged with this success, the favour of his country 
people increasing towards him, and greater companies draw- 
ing to him: he expelled them also out of Etrick-Forrest and 
Tweedale, and the greatest part of Tiviotdale. 

At that time John Copland, I know not whether it were he 
that had taken Kin? David at the battle of Durham, or some 


Other of that same name, was captain of the castle of Rox- 
burgh, and seeing that the Earl of Douglas did so prevail a- 
gainst his countrymen, gathered together a great company 
of them, and went forth to oppose him, but was quickly put 
to flight, and constrained to retire to the said castle again. 

Thus having repressed and ejected the English out of those 
parts of Scotland, he, not contented therewith, resolveth to 
invade them in their own country; wherefore he, accompani- 
ed with the Earl of March, his own father-in-law, and hav- 
ing gathered together a great power of men, as privately 
and as secretly as he could, he marched towards England. 
They sent William Ramsay of Dalhousie before, and gave 
him order to burn Noram, and to spoil the country about, 
to draw the English upon their host, which lay in ambuscade 
at a place called Nisbet-moor. Ramsay having done his part 
every dexterously, as he was enjoined, having gathered to- 
gether a great booty of cattle, made as if he would drive 
sthem into Scotland. The English, to recover their goods, 
pursued him eagerly, and he flying on purpose, drew them 
into the ambush, where the Scots arising suddenly, set upon 
them fiercely, and put them to flight with great slaughter^ 
There were taken prisoners, Thomas Gray, and his son^ with 
John Darcy a nobleman, and many others, even the greatest 
part of them. 

After this, being encouraged by their former success, they 
did enterprise against the town of Berwick and took it by 
scalade, not without great opposition and resistance, having 
been discovered by the watches. They had in their com- 
pany Eugenie Garrantiers, with some forty Frenchmen more, 
whom John king of France had sent into Scotland a little be- 
fore, with four thousand crowns, to hire soldiers therewith; 
and this was all, excepting fair promises; a weak support in 
so great a strait! And let it be well marked, that men may 
see how far they err from the truth, that allege that our 
country and the liberty thereof hath been maintained and 
upheld by support from France, and not by the valour and 
industry of the inhabitants. The nobility took the money^ 



and divided it among themselves, prosecuting the war in 
their own manner, by frequent incursions and inroads. ThesQ 
forty were present at this exploit, and at other occasions 
where they behaved themselves valorously. It is said by 
some that Thomas Stewart Earl of Angus was present at this 
surprise, and that he had a chief hand in it, as being the 
man that first broached it, and drew the rest to it by his per- 
suasion: but most authors mention only the two former. There 
were slain within the town of Berwick, Alexander Ogle go- 
vernor thereof, Thomas Percy brother to the Earl of North- 
umberland, and Edward Gray with others: but they could 
not win the castle, which he held against them; whereupon 
King Edward coming to rescue it, they being not able to 
keep the town, rifled it, and then burnt it, and razed the 
walls thereof in the year 1355. King Edward caused repair 
it again; and while that was a~doing, he went himself to Rox- 
burgh, where he kept his residence for that time: thither 
came Baliol, and being wearied, (as may be supposed) of his 
titular kingdom, resigned all that he had, which was a show, 
and pretence to it, requesting the king of England instantly 
lhat he would avenge him of the injuries done to him by the 
Scots, who would not acknowledge nor obey him, but had 
expelled him out of his kingdom: King Edward heard him 
very willingly* and upon that pretext invaded Lothian by 
sea and land: but his navy was dispersed and broken by 
stormy weather, and by land the victual was put out of the 
way, so that he was constrained to retire home again, after he 
had poured out his fury upon Edinburgh, Haddington, and 
other towns in Lothian, which lay in his way. He being 
rone, the Earl of Douglas passed into Galloway, and partly 
by force, and partly by persuasion and entreaty, he reduced 
that whole country to the king's obedience, and caused Don- 
** :.ld Macdougal, one of the principal men in Galloway, to 
take an oath of allegiance and fidelity in the church of Cum- 
nock. Hollinshed attributes this to the Lord of Nithsdale 
his brother's son, natural son to the Lord of Galloway. He 
took also by force the castle cf Dalswinton and Car lav- 


rock, and razed them. Some histories say, they were 
by composition, and upon agreement by King David him- 
self after his return. At this time also John Stewart, son 
to Robert the governor, recovered Annandale from the 
enemy, and Roger Kilpatrick took Disdeir. And even, as 
before, in their king's minority they had done, so now dur- 
ing his captivity, these his faithful subjects made his enemies 
to reap but small profit of all their pains, having now 
again delivered this country from them almost every where. 
Let it be remarked, as we said before, to the end that 
kings and princes may think it the best policy that can 
be to procure and entertain the love and hearty affection 
of their subjects, and more especially of their, faithful no- 

Shortly after this they write, that the Earl of Douglas went 
into France with 3000 men, and was made knight of the? 
chiefest order in that kingdom: he was present at the battle 
of Poictiers; where the field being lost, and John King of 
France taken prisoner by Edward the black prince, son to 
King Edward III. the Earl of Douglas escaped very hardly, 
being rescued by his own men, of whom there were 
slain Andrew Stewart, Robert Gordon, Andrew Haliburton, 
and Andrew Vasse knights. Archibald Douglas, natural 
son to good Sir James, and brother to the Lord of Lid- 
disdale was taken prisoner, and with him William Ram- 
say of Colluthie, who perceiving that the enemy did not 
know the said Archibald, nor apprehend him to be a man of 
any quality, to deceive them the more, he used him as 
his serving-man, making him to pull off his boots, and do 
such other drudgery, by which means he was set at liberty 
for a small ransom. 

Now, as these actions of war do shew his valour and love 
to his country, so likewise there fell out an occasion at home 
in matter of state policy, which did no less manifest his pru- 
dence, magnanimity, and affection to his native soil; which 
was this, King David being returned from his captivity, after 
he had spent some five years in settling of the troubles and 


affairs of his kingdom, after he had fined such as had fled 
first at the battle of Durham, and composed such broils and 
disorders as were amongst his subjects, at last, in the year 
1363, he kept a parliament. There he propounded unto the 
states, that they would give way to the uniting of the two 
kingdoms of Scotland and England; and seeing he himself 
had no children, be contented to give way, that Edward of 
England, or his son might be his successor. Whether he 
made this proposition, because he did judge it indeed to be 
most profitable for both kingdoms, so to end all their quarrels 
and wars, or that he had taken a great liking to the king of 
England's son, or else that he had been constrained to pro- 
mise and swear to do it by King Edward, when he was in his 
power, or some other occasion, it is uncertain. But the 
motion was so ill taken by all that were there present, that 
they had no patience to stay till every man's vote were 
asked in his turn, but altogether with one voice, did cry 
out with a confused noise and clamour detesting it, and 
protesting, that so long as they were able to bear arms, 
they would never give their consent thereunto; that they had 
one of age to be heir already, whensoever God should call 
him; especially the Earl of Douglas took it so to heart, that 
he entered into league with Robert Stewart Earl of Strath- 
em, who was next heir, and was chiefly prejudiced hereby, 
with Patrick Earl of March, George Earl of Murray his bro- 
ther, John Stewart of Kyle, afterwards Robert III. and Ro- 
bert Stewart of Monteith, after Duke of Albany, to with- 
stand and oppose this business to the utmost of their powers, 
in case the king should prosecute it, and to defend them- 
selves if he would use violence against them. And they 
were so forward herein, and went so far on in it, that it 
had almost come to an open rebellion: neither were they re- 
conciled until the king changed his purpose; and then, by 
the mediation of the prelates of the realm, they desisted 
and gave their oath of fidelity to him again in the year 1366, 
having been at variance and jealousy the space of two or 
three years. The English writers would make it seem to 


have been but collusion, and that the king did but propound 
it, for exoneration of his promise to King Edward, and was 
glad of the refusal, for that he was not to labour further in 
it. But our histories signify no such thing, and say directly 
that he did it sincerely, and was highly offended with the 
denial for the time, and that those who had refused, looked 
for the worst, and set themselves for defence; yea, that they 
went so far, that some of them made incursions upon the 
towns and villages in the country, to terrify the king, saith 
Major, and that he might learn to know that the whole king- 
dom did not altogether depend upon him, but upon the good 
counsel and mature advice of the nobility. And Boetius 
writes, that the convention being dissolved, there followed 
rebellion of some of the nobility; whilst they feared that they 
had offended the king with their free speeches, determining 
to enterprise and do somewhat before they should be caused 
to suffer. Such is the force of jealousy, when it entereth in- 
to men's breasts; and therefore it is to be avoided with great 
care, and the occasions thereof cut off betimes: for it com- 
eth often to pass, that upon such suspicions, when neither 
party have had an ill meaning, but have been afraid of ill, and 
sought to prevent it, such inconveniences have followed, as 
would not have fallen out otherwise; and, therefore, above all 
things, assurances should be given to counsellors and free 
voters, that in their free delivering of their opinions, they 
shall not offend there; or, if they do suspect they had of- 
fended him, the suspicion should be removed betimes, and 
they put in security. And this King David did in this mat- 
ter, as the most judicious of our writers say. They that had 
cried out against it most freely, saith he, hearing that the 
king was angry, were about to have made defection, whose 
fear when the king understood, he remitted all wrath, 
received them immediately into favour. By this wise 
government, and modesty on all sides, suspicion was taken 
away; and although he was offended for the time, because 
they did not yield to his desire, yet afterward he re- 
joiced greatly, as he certainly had great cause, to see th© 



true and hearty affections of his subjects to their country, 
to his own blood, and the house of Bruce, the uprightness, 
sincerity, and magnanimity, virtues requisite and necessary 
for counsellors, in resisting even himself for himself, for his 
own honour and good, which were both greatly interested 
by this his desire, if he had obtained it; being so prejudi- 
cial to his sister and her offspring, who have happily succeed- 
ed since, besides the breach of oath to his father, the 
servitude of his country, subjecting it to strangers, and the 
stain of his honour for ever, to have been the author of so 
unworthy a fact. And without all doubt, it was greatly a- 
gainst the security of his own person, in regard of the am- 
bition of his designed successor and heir, King Edward, and 
his impatience to abide God's leisure, who in a colder hope, 
had used indirect means to make away Thomas Randulph. 
"What would not that man have attempted for a certain pos- 
session? And what miserable case had the person of this 
good king been in, if he had got his own will? If his will 
had been accounted as a law by these his subjects. A notable 
example to counsellors, of freedom, where their prince's 
good, and the good of their country doth require it; to 
princes of modesty, in opposition made to that which may 
be their will for a time, and whereunto for the present ap- 
pearance they may be very bent. A happy king that can 
so dispose himself not to be wedded to his own affections 
only! Or if not so yet happy is he that hath such counsellors, 
who will resolutely remonstrate the right, and stand to it; 
by which means he may be brought to examine his own af- 
fections, to see the errors of them, and rejoice thereafter 
that he did not what he most desired. Certainly this king 
hath rejoiced at it all the rest of his days, living in great 
quietness some four or five years. There was not any grudge, 
heart-burning, or suspicion after this between him and any of 
them; such was the integrity of heart on both sides, and so 
it should be in reconcilements, otherwise enmities must be 
perpetual, or would be so, if it were not hoped that the re- 
conciliation would be sincere and entire. Nay, where it is 

house of douglas; 127 

not so, that peace is worse than any war, and nothing else 
but a snare to entrap men. King David died in the castle 
of Edinburgh, in the tower which he himself had caused to 
be built, and is called from his name David's Tower, in the 
year 1370, the nine and thirtieth year of his reign, and was 
buried at Holyroodhouse. 

After his decease there was a convention of the states at 
Linlithgow, to have crowned Robert Stewart, son to Mar- 
jory Bruce, King Robert's daughter; thither went the Earl 
of Douglas, and did claim the crown, where he was so strongly 
accompanied, that they feared he would have taken it by 
force, if it were not given to him voluntarily; he alleged 
that he was to be preferred before Robert Stewart, because 
his right was derived both from Baliol and Cuming. Now, 
for the better understanding of his claim, we must remem- 
ber, that King Alexander III. dying without heirs, the title 
of the crown was devolved to King David Earl of Hunting*- 
don, brother to the said Alexander's grandfather King Wil- 
liam. This David of Huntington, as histories relate, had 
three daughters, Margaret, Isobel, and Alda or Ada; the 
eldest, Margaret, was married to Allan Lord of Galloway; 
Isabel, the second, to Robert Bruce, commonly called Ro- 
bert the noble; the third, Alda or Ada, to Henry Hastings, 
whose posterity doth still yet happily with good report pos- 
sess the Earldom of Huntington. This Allan Lord of Gal- 
loway had by his wife Margaret, eldest daughter to David, 
two daughters, as is most commonly reported, Dornagilla 
and Mary; Dornagilla his eldest daughter was married to 
John Baliol, father to that John Baliol who was afterwards 
crowned king of Scotland; Mary his second daughter was 
married to John Cuming Earl of Mar, and by her, Lord 
of Galloway, called Red John Cuming slain by King Ro- 
bert Bruce at Dumfries. Some write that this Allan had 
three daughters, and that the eldest was married to one 
Roger Earl of Winton, of whom seeing we have no men- 
tion in pretension to the kingdom, it is apparent that either 
there hath been no such woman, or that she hath died 


without children. Buchanan says he had three daughters at 
his death, in the life of Alexander II. also Boetius, in his 
thirteenth book, fol. 294. saith the same, and calleth this 
man Roger Quincy Earl of Winton, who, saith he, was made 
constable for his father-in-law Allan, and continued in that 
office until the days of King Robert Bruce, and then being 
forfeited fot treason, the office of constable was given to 
Hay Earl of Errol. He says also that John Cuming did not 
marry one of Allan's daughters, but one of this Quincy's 
Earl of Winton, who had married the said Allan's eldest 
daughter, which is carefully to be remarked. Hollinshed 
s ays the same in his chronicle of Scotland, and calleth him 
Roger Quincy. John Cuming had by Mary his wife one 
only daughter, called Dornagilla, who was married to Archi- 
bald Douglas slain at Halidon-hill, father to this Earl Wil- 
liam, of whom we now speak, whereby he was grandchild 
to Mary, and great-grandchild to Margaret, David of Hun- 
tington's eldest daughter, and by consequence reckoning 
from David of Huntington's daughter, 1. Margaret. 2. Her 
daughter Mary. 3. Mary's daughter. 4. This Earl William 
is the fourth person. On the other side, for Robert Stewart, 
reckoning likewise from the said David of Huntington's 
daughter, 1 . Isabel's son. 2. Robert Bruce Earl of Carrick. 
3. His son King Robert. 4. His daughter Marjory. 5. Her 
son Robert Stewart is the fifth person, which is a degree fur- 
ther than the Earl of Douglas, who was in equal degree with 
Marjory his mother. This reckoning is not unlike that 
whereby Robert Earl of Carrick did claim it before when he 
contended with Baliol; for Bruce was a male, and a degree 
nearer, equal with Baliol's mother, and this Earl was also the 
male, and a degree nearer than Stewart, equal with his mother, 
and besides all this, he was one of the eldest of David's daugh- 
ters, which Bruce was not. This was the ground of his claim; 
but fin ling his pretension evil taken, and disliked by all the no- 
bility, and disputing that which had been decided long before 
in, favour of King Rob :rt Bruce, who had been confirmed king, 
to whom Balidl had renounced whatsoever right he could 


claim; to whom also, and to his posterity, they all, and Earl 
William's own predecessors, had sworn obedience, and con- 
tinued it the whole time of his life, and of his son David 
the space of sixty-four years. 

To which Robert Bruce, and not to David of Huntington, 
Robert Stewart was to succeed; wherefore the Earl's chiefest 
friends, George and John Dunbar, Earls of March and Mur- 
ray, his-br others- in-law by his first wife, and Robert Erskine 
his assured friend, keeper of the three principal castles in 
Scotland, Dumbarton, Stirling and Edinburgh, dissuaded him 
from it; and so he was contented to desist, and joining very 
willingly with the rest of the nobility, accompanied him to 
Scoon, and assisted at his coronation, being no less accept- 
able and commended for his modest acquiescing, than he had 
been before displeasing for his unseasonable motion: for the 
which, in token of his good-will, and that he might so much 
the more tie the Earl to him, the new king bestows two very 
honourable gifts upon him; his eldest daughter Eupham on tfic* 
EarFs son James, that failing heirs-male, the crown might so 
fall to his house; the other benefit was bestowed upon the Earl 
himself, the marriage of Margaret Stewart Countess of Mar 
and Angus, daughter and heir to Earl Thomas. This Coun- 
tess of Mar and Angus did bear to this Earl, George Earl of 
Angus, that was married to one of King Robert Ill's daugh- 
ters, as we shall see in the house of Angus. It is known, 
that these two lived after from thenceforth in good friendship, 
as prince and subject, without suspicion, grudgej or eye-list 
on either party; for neither did the king remember it as an 
aspiring, whereby to hold a continual suspicious eye over 
him, neither did he fear the king as jealous of it, or as esteem- 
ing that he had suffered wrong in the repulse, nor seeking 
any means to prosecute it further, laying aside all quarrels 
with the cause in sincerity on both sides. 

This should be the practice of all honest her.rts, and is 
the only means to end all debates, entertain peace, and keep 
human society, far contrary to this now called wisdom, of 
diffidence, distrust, jealousy, curbing and keeping under thos*} 



with whom we have had any difference, which is the only 
way to foster variance; and to make enmity eternal; for 
trust deserveth truth, and moves a man to deserve that 
trust, and to be worthy of it. Time wins and allures 
even the wildest minds of men, and also of beasts, even 
of fierce lions, if it be not a monster in nature, or worse? 
than a monster, one amongst a thousand, which is the only 
true and solid policy that makes the hearts of men ours; for 
men must be led by their hearts, and by no other way, and 
so employed, or else let no man think ever to make any great 
use of them. 

King Robert, after his coronation, made divers-Earls and 
Barons, (or Lords) and Knights, amongst whom James Lind- 
say of Glenesk was made Earl of Crawford. This same year 
the peace with England was broken, which had been made 
with King David at his releasing from captivity for fourteen 
years, and had now continued not above four or five years 
only. The occasion of it was this: there is a yearly fair in 
Roxburgh, and some of the Earl of March's servants going 
thither, were slain by the English that kept the castle there- 
, of. When the Earl of March craved justice, and could not 
obtain it, the next year when the fair- day came again, he 
having gathered a sufficient power of men, invaded the town, 
slew all the males of any years, and having rifled it, and 
taken a great spoil and booty, he burnt it to the ground. 

We read, that a good while after this the Earl of North- 
umberland and' Nottingham set forward towards Scotland 
with an army of 3000 men at arms, and 7000 archers, and 
sent forth Sir Thomas Musgraye ;with 300 spears, and 300 
archers, to Melross, to try what he jc'op.ld learn of the Scot3 
in those parts, with whom the Earl of -Douglas encountering, 
took Sir Thomas himself and 120 prisoners, besides those 
that were slain. 

The same year, 1380, the Earl Douglas entered England 
with 20,000 men, and went to the fair of Penrith, and hav- 
ing taken all the goods that were there, he burnt the town. 
Hollinshcd in his English Chronicle, speaking of that jour- 


2iey, in all likelihood, saith, they brought away 40,000 cattle, 
and were assaulted by the way, but came into Scotland with 
the prey, having lost some few of their men; he says the 
occasion of it was, because the men of Newcastle had taken 
a Scotch ship, well known to be a pirate, but very rich* 
worth df£70,000, whereat the Scots being angry, and offended, 
made this incursion. 

About this time the Earl of Douglas entreated for mercy, 
to James Lindsay Earl of Crawford, who had been banished 
a certain time before for killing of John Lyon, son-in-law to 
the king, and chancellor, as some call him, or secretary, as 
others: he was the first of the name of Lyon, of whom the 
house of Glammis is descended. This Lyon was a young 
man, endued with all the natural gifts of body and mind that 
could be; he was comely in person, well bred, and of a good 
carriage and winning behaviour, which made him liked of all 
men, and especially by this James Lindsay, who received him 
into his train, and made him his secretary: by this occasion 
being often at court, the king took notice of him, and liking 
his deportment, and upon Crawford's commendation, took 
him into his service, and made him his domestic secretary. 
It fell so out at last, that the king's daughter (by Elizabeth 
Moor) fell in love with him, and was with child by him, 
which he revealed to the Earl of Crawford. The Earl fear- 
ing that the king would take the matter heavily and heinous- 
ly, and use the young man hardly, devised this way for his 
safety: he caused another gentleman of his acquaintance to 
take the blame on him, and to absent himself as guilty, and 
then being very familiar with the king, deals with him to be- 
stow his daughter, seeing she had thus fallen, on John Lyon, 
and to give him the lands of Glammis with her, which was 
done accordingly; he got also for his coat of arms the flower- 
de-luce, field argent, and a lion azure, with a double tres- 
sure, and a woman's head for his crest. What unthankful- 
ness the Earl of' Crawford did find in him afterwards, or 
did apprehend and conceive, is not particularly set down; but 
imding his own credit with the king to decrease, and John 


Lyon's to increase, and taking Lyon to be the cause thereof, 
esteeming it great ingratitude after so great a benefit, he took 
it so highly, and with such indignation, that finding him ac- 
cidently in his way a little from Forfar, he slew him very 
cruelly, and fearing the king's wrath, fled into voluntary ex- 
ile, and so he remained some years, until, at the Earl of Dou- 
las's intercession, the king suffered himself to be so far en- 
treated, as that he was restored, obtained pardon, and re- 
ceived into the king's favour. What interest the Earl of 
Douglas had in it, and what friendship with the Earl of 
Crawford, or what pity of his afflicted state, or commiseration 
of him, or weighing the cause that brought him to so hard 
a fate, as great men will regard one another, where they think 
they have been ill requited by them to whom they have been 
beneficial, or how necessary the presence of so worthy a man 
was for the king and country's present state, it is hard to 
conjecture} but this is clear, that the Earl of Douglas hath 
been not a little respected and accounted of at that time, 
seeing at his suit the king consented to forgive the murder 
of his own son-in-law, and to receive the author thereof into 

The year following, which was 1381, there ensued a truce 
between the two countries for three years; there met for con- 
cluding of this truce John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, who 
was uncle to King Richard II. with some other Lords of the 
English side; and for the Scots, the Earls of Douglas and 
March. In the very time of their meeting and treaty, both 
parties were informed of the insurrection made by Jack Straw 
in England, and both dissembled the matter until the truce 
was agreed upon; then, when all was ended, the Earl of 
Douglas with a generous wisdom, far from that which is now 
in vogue and request, addressed himself to the Duke of Lan- 
caster, and told him, that from the very first beginning of 
their conference, he was not ignorant in what state the affairs 
in England were, but that they were so far from catching 
hold of any advantage of the time, and from making either} 
of peace or war accordingly, that they had rather consented; 


to the truce, because of the troubles in England; and for 
yourself, saith he, if it please you, you may remain here in 
Scotland until these tumults be settled, or, if you had rather 
return home, you shall have 500 horse to accompany you> 
and to set you safe in what place in England you please. The 
Duke thanked them for their courtesy, but thinking that he 
needed it not at that time, made no use of either of their 
offers; but afterwards, being on his journey home, when 
he found that they shut the gates of Berwick against him, 
and would not receive him into the town, he came back z- 
gain, and was conveyed to Holyroodhouse by the Earl of 
Douglas, and his brother Archibald Lord of Galloway, and 
remained there till matters were settled in England. 

After the truce was expired, Archibald Lord of Galloway, 
assisted by his brother the Earl of Douglas, and by the Earl 
of March, won the castle of Lochmaben, as we shall hear in 
the life of the said Archibald. 

Upon this the Duke of Lancaster, by way of revenge, 
made an incursion upon Scotland, in which having rifled 
Edinburgh, and wasted the country he returned home; and 
he being gone, the Earl of Douglas took all the castles and 
houses of strength in Teviotdale, which the English had kept 
since the battle of Durham, Roxburgh only excepted, and 
purged that country of brigands and robbers, who had in 
time of the war been very licentious and bold. 

This was the last work of this nobleman, worthy, say our 
writers, of his house and predecessors, for he died soon af«- 
ter of a fever in the castle of Douglas, and was buried in 
Melross abbey, in the year 1384, as they reckon, and is like- 
ly, for his son James is stiled Earl in the year 1385, March 
20th: of what age he was at his death it cannot be certainly 
collected, but from his father's death at Halidonhill we have 
51 years after he began to come upon the stage, and appear 
in business, and the affairs of his country, thirty years at 
least, or forty, since we account that he came home before 
the battle of Durham. 

He was a man, without doubt, of exceeding great val- 


our, whom even the English spare not to call one of the most 
valiant persons in his days within the realm of Scotland; and 
certainly his actions declare no less, even as they are sum- 
arily set down; but if all had been particularly described, 
with the full circumstances, it would have been far more 
clear, and not only his valour would have appeared, but his 
wisdom also, travel and diligence, which he must needs have 
used in recovering of so many countries and castles, as he is 
recorded to have won, and in so many years, as he was em- 
ployed in continual action, ever victorious, without mention 
of any repulse, overthrow, or evil success where himself was 
conductor, and, we say, nor elsewhere, except at the battle 
of Durham. Now all is involved in general, and rolled up 
in gross, expressing little or nothing of the accidents, or 
particular ways of his exploits, only they tell us this inroad 
he made, and these castles he won, and tell the event indeed 
to have been successful, but no more. This good fortune, 
as men call it, though it be commended, and commendable 
in leaders, yet is seldom alone, but accompanied with valour, 
to which it gives the lustre, and without which he never 
could have achieved such enterprises. 

The love he bore to his country, and to the liberty there- 
of needs no declaration: those his travels declare it, which 
could have no other end; chiefly that act of withstanding 
King David, in bringing in a foreign king, with such resolu- 
tion, even to the discontentment of his sovereign, to whom 
©therwise he had been ever most obedient, with the hazard- 
ing of his person and estate. In which opposition, if we 
weigh it narrowly, how many virtues do appear? An unspeak- 
able love to his country with such hazard, freedom of mind 
and uprightness, far from flattery or any dissimulation, not 
following his prince's humour, or soothing him in his present 
disposition, but regarding what was most for his b good and 
honour, what best for his country, and what the king was 
like to acknowledge best for him, when he should be out of 
that fit. We may also see in it a strange magnanimity and 
courage in his resolving, as he did without all doubt, to part 



with all that the world could afford, and whatsoever is dear 
to men in the world, rather than not to maintain that which 
he accounted to be right, his life, lands, dignities, honours, 
and all such things, both for himself and his posterity: for 
what was that banding for it, but a plain opposing himself 
to the power of both the kings (Scots and English) the suitor, 
and for whom it was suited, who, doubtless, would both have 
concurred in that cause? And what could the consequence of 
opposing then be but the loss of his life, lands, and all? or 
what other hope could he havf\ and what means to stand it 
out? The more is his constancy remarkable, that never yield- 
ed up that disposition. As for his wisdom, it is included in 
all these things, and doth shine in all his actions, which 
without it could not have been performed. Likewise in that 
favour which was shewn unto him by men, the causes of fa- 
vour are employed, and such qualities and virtues are apt to 
gain and procure affection, to wit, gentleness, meekness, sob* 
riety, liberality, and the like; his generosity and courteous 
humility in his speech, which are the true and only means 
of acquiring the good-will and hearts of men; his generous 
mind and courteousness appeared in his speech and carriage 
towards the Duke of Lancaster, his justice in pacifying the; 
country, and purging out the thieves: a^worthy catastrophe 
of so well an acted life! 

Some may think him ambitious in standing for the crown, 
but if he thought he had a right, wha£ could he do less? 
It was no ambition to seek what was his due,, and there was 
as great appearance of right on his side, as might have de- 
ceived a better lawyer than he was; yet let it be his ambiaon, 
and that he was not so ignorant but that he knew where the 
title was; have not many dispensed with great duties in that 
case; and is it not though half duty, not to be over precise in 
duty, and half justice, not to look too narrowly to justice? Sz 
violandum est jus, fyc. If law or lawfulness should be broken, 
where should it rather be broken than for a kingdom? which 
is not so much the saying of one man, as the tacit opinion 
of almost all men, as appears by the approbation of them- 

7 36 HISTORY OF f Hfi 

Selves, and all others after they have got it. ft were to b£ 
wished that error were away, and men saw as well the in- 
ward thorns as the outward pearls of the diadem, that they 
might let it lie at their foot, and not take it up, though they 
might have it for the lifting; but that will be called a stoical 
philosophy, and even the stoics are thought to have muck 
ado to keep themselves in that moderation; neither do men 
believe them, when they say they do it in lesser matters, 
where they may attain them; and what they lack is thought 
to be for want of power and dexterity to compass and ob- 
tain, not of judgement to contemn or neglect. What could 
the Earl of Douglas then do, who was not so well learned 
or skilled; who had honour and glory for the great objects 
of his intentions, which are the objects of these great spirits, 
and many think it should be so? So that m regard of this 
common opinion of men, and the instructions of that age, 
yea of all ages, even of this age almost, in such military men, 
or politic wise men, who are not pedants, as they call them, 
or theologues, (to give them the best name men can term 
them) I think it not so strange that he insisted, as I marvel 
that he desisted so soon and easily; neither can I so much dis- 
praise his motion, as I have reason to commend his modesty; 
for his motion, likely, has not been immodestly moved, or 
too vehemently pressed, that he gave it so soon over; far 
from the unbridledness of turbulent minds, that would rather 
have moved heaVen and earth, as we say, to have come to 
their purpose, and have cast themselves, their country, and 
all, into confusion, and into foreign hands and power; nay, 
which is more, and worse than merely foreign, into English, 
our enemies, which would be flat slavery, as both the Baliols, 
John and Edward, had done before him, and the last of them 
on no better, nay not so good a ground: wherefore if we will 
call it ambition, yet certainly it has not been the worst sort 
thereof, neither unruly nor immoderate, but, by the con- 
trary, very sober and temperate, and such as may well fall, 
and often doth fall into the best and greatest spirits, that are 
not brought uo and deeolv instructed in the inmost and pro- 



found points of human and divine philosophy; of which sort 
how few there be? and how meanly are they accounted of? 
Let us either think better of them, or find the less fault with 
him; certainly if he cannot be fully excused, yet can he not 
be over hardly censured, nor condemned; yea no more con- 
demned for the moving, than praised for the speedy leaving 
off, and yielding, truly acquiescing, and sincerely obeying in 

Qf James the Second of that Name, the Eleventh 
Lord and Second Earl of Douglas, slain at Otter- 

vJ NTO William the first Earl his sbn James did succeed, a 
man in all kind of virtue worthy of so great a father, and 
honourable place, who was not inferior to him either in 
courage or fortunateness, unless we account him less fortunate 
for that he lived but few years* wherefore we shall hear his 
own judgement at his death. 

He had two wives, Euphan eldest daughter to the kings, 
as we have said, Dy his wife the Earl of Ross's daughter; 
yet the genealogy of the kings in the Acts of Parliament says, 
that she was daughter to Elizabeth Moor, and not the Earl of 
Ross's daughter: he had a son by her, who lived not half a 
year; he had also two natural sons, William, of whom is des- 
cended the house of Drumlanrig, as evidences do witness, 
(given by Jacobus Douglas comes de Douglas Jilio nostro) and 
Archibald, of whom is come the house of Cavers, sheriffs of 
Teviotdale, who, if they had been lawful, had been sons to 
the king's daughter, and had succeeded to the Earldom be* 
fore his brother Archibald the Grim, who did succeed to himj 
but though they did not succeed, yet they have shewed them- 
selves very worthy, and amongst the chief great men of the 
land. Of this William also are descended the houses of Cosh- 
Ogle. Pinyrie, Davein, and others in Ni/Jndalej for Archibald 



Douglas, the first of Coshogle, was second son to this Wil- 
liam of Drumlanrig, and was married to one Pringle of the 
house of Galashiels, who bore to him twelve sons, and after 
his death she was was married to one Carnel Wallace, and 
bore twelve more to him also. 

Touching the actions of Earl James, which were done in 
his father's days, one thing we have spoken of them in his 
father's life as most proper, there is one thing more, besides 
what has been said, recorded of him by some, that during 
his father's life he was sent into France, for renewing the 
ancient league with that kingdom, in which embassy were 
joined with him Walter Wardlaw, cardinal and bishop of 
Glasgow, and his uncle Archibald Lord of Galloway. This is 
said to have been in the year 138], which is the eleventh 
year of the reign of Robert Stewart-, the occasion of it was a 
message that came out of France from Charles VI. who de- 


sired to have it so. 

After his return in September, he recovered the town of 
Berwick from the English, and entering England with a com- 
petent power, burnt and spoiled all the country about as far 
as Newcastle. 

About the time of his father's decease, in the year 1384, 
there was a truce concluded between France and England to 
last a year, in which Scotland was also comprehended: this 
treaty was at Boulogne, or at Lillegham, as others write, 
and for intimation thereof, some Frenchmen were directed \ 
to come into Scotland; but while they prepared themselves 
too negligently, the Earls of Northumberland and Notting- 
ham, with such as lay nearest to the Scotch marches, laid . 
hold of this opportunity to annoy Scotland, so that the Scots 
should have no time to revenge it before the truce was pro-- 
claimed, entered Scotland with an army of 20,000, or, as 
others say, 10,000 horse and 6000 archers and bowmen, and 
spoiled the country far and wide, especially the lands pertain- 
ing to the Douglases and Lindsays. The Scots, who, trust- 
ing to the report of the truce, dreamed of no such thing, 
finding themselves thus used, were greatly grieved with their 


•own sloth, and no less incensed at the fraud and falsehood 
of England, and resolved to avenge the same. In the mean 
time the report of the English incursion coming to the ears 
of the French, who had the charge to intimate the assurance, 
admonished them of their slowness; wherefore, to make a- 
m ends, though somewhat too late, they hastened over to Lon- 
don in the very time that the English army was in Scotland, 
there they were very cheerfully received, and magnificently 
entertained with feasting and banqueting, and under this co- 
lour cunningly detained, until it was known that the English 
army was come home and dismissed; then being suffered to 
depart, they came into Scotland and shewed their commission. 
The greatest part of the nobility, but chiefly the Earl of Dou- 
glas, and such as with him had received great loss by that 
expedition, cried out against the craft of the English, that 
this their fraud was no way to be suffered. The king went 
about to pacify them, and shewed plainly that he meant to 
receive and keep the truce, which they perceiving, drew out 
the matter at length, by reasoning to and fro, until such time 
as they had gathered together quietly 15,000 horsemen; then 
Douglas, Dunbar, and Lindsay, withdrew themselves from 
court without noise, at a day appointed, and joining their 
companies at the "place of rendezvous, enter England with 
displayed banners, waste and spoil Northumberland to New- 
castle; then they do the like to the Earl of Nottingham's 
lands and the Moubray's, and so return home with a hu^e 
prey of men and cattle. Straight after their return the truce 
was proclaimed, meeting fraud, not with fraud, but with open 
force, by a just and honest recompence and retaliation. Nei- 
ther were the English discontented for all this to accept the 
truce, acknowledging that the Scots had reason to do what 
they did, or confessing their own weakness and want of abili- 
ty to revenge it at this time, or both, by their sitting still and 
acceptation; for neither rightly could, though weak, have had 
patience in so great an injury, neither would force, if it had 
thought itself sufficient, have been bridled with reason only 
in so manifest an affront, and so great damage; however it 



be they stirred not, and so the truce was kept till it expired 
of itself. 

When it was run out, John de Vienne a Burgundian, a very 
valiant man, admiral of France, and Earl of Valentinois, ar- 
rived in Scotland, and brought with him 2000 men, amongst 
whom were 100 men at arms-, he brought also 400 cuirasses, 
and 400 half long swords, to be distributed among the Scots, 
and, as some write, 50,000 crowns. Before their coming James 
Earl of Douglas entered into England with a new army, and 
upon their arrival was called back to court, where they attend- 
ed his coming; then having consultedof their business, and 
the army being ready, they accompanied him into England, 
where they took the castles of Wark, Ford, and Cornwall, 
and spoiled and burnt the country between Berwick and New-? 
Castle. But when they intended to go on further, the con- 
tinual rain that fell in great abundance, being in autumn, did 
so spoil the ways and raise the waters, and wet the soldiers 
and their armour, that they were forced to retire home a- 
gain into bcotland. In the mean time l£ing Richard greatly 
moved that the Scots must bring in strangers to waste his 
country, entered Scotland with an army of 60,000 foot and 
8000 horse, and used all sort of hostility in the Merse and 
Lothian, not sparing the religious houses and persons, such 
as Newbottle, Melross and Dryburgh, with the monks there- 
of. The French admiral better remembering, and more care- 
ful of his master's directions, than considering what was fit 
to be done, dealt earnestly with the Earl of Douglas to give 
him battle. But the Earl knowing better, and regarding 
more the good of his country, and weighing with judge- 
ment the Ivnglish power and forces, would nowise listen to 
him, he told him it was not for want of affection to do the 
king of France service that he refused to fight, but in respect 
of the unequal number and appointment of the armies at that 
time-, and that he might the better see the English forces., he 
took him up to a hill, from whence they might have a reas- 
onable view of them as they passed by in order; which when, 
^he admiral had seen, and considered thereof, he easily 


yielded to the Earl's opinion. Hollinshed setteth down the 
odds, saying, that the Scots and French were not above 8000 
spears, and 30,000 of all other sorts, and the most part of 
those not well armed: where he reckoneth of English 6000 
horse, and 60,000 archers, which are 2000 horses fewer than 
our histories do reckon. In this inequality therefore, bein<r 
no less a wise conductor than a valiant warrior, he resolved 
not to hazard a battle, but determined to take another course, 
which he did; for he entered England on that quarter which 
was farthest distant from the English army, and wasted Cum- 
berland and the adjacent country near to it. The king of 
England being advertised hereof, purposed to have followed 
him, and forced him to fight: but being better advised, and 
no doubt put in mind of what had befallen his grandfather 
Edward III. at Stanhope-park, against good Sir James, he 
altered his purpose, and marched the readiest way home. 
And so both armies having spoiled and wasted each others 
countries, they returned without encountering or seeing each 

In the return the Earl Douglas persuaded them to besiege 
Roxburgh castle, making full account that the king of Eng- 
land would not raise a new army before the next spring, and 
so they sat down before it; but it did not continue eight days 
before they raised the siege. The cause was an unreasonable 
demand of the Frenchmen, who would needs have the castle 
to be given to them, and to belong to the king of France 
when it was won from the enemy. This demand did so of- 
fend the Scots, that they could by no means hear of it, and 
so the enterprise was deserted upon this occasion, but chiefly 
by the Frenchmen's insolent and licentious behaviour and 
carriage in the wars, who rob and steal, and use all manner 
of force and violence: there arose many times great strife, 
and many quarrels between the country people and them: 
for the country people watched them when they were 
alone, or but few together, and sometimes robbed them 
of their horses, sometimes of their valise and luo-gare; 
sometimes they hurt, and at other times slew some of 
{hem. The French commanders complained to the king's 



council, and the common people answered, that they had re- 
ceived more loss and hurt by the French, who professed them* 
selves to be friends, than they had done by the English, who 
were sworn enemies: and therefore they said it was reasona- 
ble that the French should no ways be suffered to go home* 
until they had satisfied for the wrongs they had done. The 
Earl Douglas in this hard case, seeing they were strangers 
that came to aid Scotland, was willing partly to bear with their 
faults, as proceeding from an evil custom and form used at 
home in France, and therefore interposed himself to have 
mitigated the people, but could hardly pacify them;, vet at 
last with great instancy and intreaty, being greatly favoured, 
and generally well beloved and popular, he obtained that the 
common soldiers and the army should be suffered to return 
into France, and that their captains and commanders should 
be retained still, until satisfaction were made for the loss they 
had sustained. And so the king of France's desire was satis- 
fied, who had then sent for them, and with all order taken, 
with ttie damage done by them. 

This was the aid, and this was the success of the help re- 
ceived from Fiance now the second time. It was very small 
before, and it is now to very little purpose; more hurtful and 
troublesome to the country, than of importance against the 
enemy. After their embarking, the Scots remained still in 
England the space of two months, and then the English hav- 
ing withdrawn, and conveyed all the victual out of the way, 
they returned into Scotland. And hereby they did show how 
little they leaned to foreign aid,without which their greatest en- 
terprises were performedmeither was there ever,either by these 
or by others before or since, (though we look over all histories) 
any great exploit atchieved. All the help ever they got, was 
only in the besieging of some towns at some particular times, 
and some such trifles scarce worth the naming, in respect of 
the whole power of the body and state of the country, which 
I remark again, and commend to the reader to be truly con- 
sidered, for vindicating the valour and worth of the inhabi- 
tants, from that ob&cme and unequal judgement of such asdn 

house of douglas; X4<3 

roinish and impair it; who cannot but know that it was never- 
foreign forces, as is wrongfully surmised, but the virtue and 
valour of their predecessors that hath preserved the honour and 
liberty of their country all manner of ways; and that any one 
inan amongst divers of the name of Douglas, hath done more 
in that cause than the force of France, if it were all put to- 
gether, did ever to this hour. 

The year following, the Earl of Douglas with Robert Stew- 
art Earl of Fife, and Archibald Douglas Lord of Galloway 
his uncle, entered England, with an army of three thousand 
men, passing the water of Solway so secretly, that they were 
at Cockermouth on such a sudden, that the people had no 
leisure to convey their goods out of the way. Wherefore, 
having for the space of three days gathered together a rich 
booty, they returned home through Cumberland, Westmore- 
land and Northumberland into Scotland again without any 

Not long after Archibald Lord of Galloway, in company 
of the same Earl of Fife, made an inroad into England, in re- 
venge whereof the king of England sent an army into Scot- 
land, which did great harm in the Merse and occasioned that 
notable battle at Otterburn. 

. For the Scots irritated herewith, boiled with desire of re- 
venge, being at that time very nourishing with strong youth, 
and never bdtter furnished with commanders. But King Ro- 
bert, a man by nature given to quietness, far stricken in years 
(seventy three years old) was become slacker, and seemed not 
to make so great account of the public injuries. His eldest 
son John was dull of nature, and having received a hurt by a 
stroke of a horse, which pertained to James Douglas Lord of 
Dalkeith, was thereby lame of a leg, and halted, and so unfit 
for the travel of war. Therefore they had recourse to the 
king's next son the Earl of Fife, and do easily agree with him, 
resolving to avenge the hurt and damage they had lately re- 
ceived. So every man promising his best endeavour, appoint- 
ment is made to conveen in August, or, as some say, in July; 
but so secretlv, as it should not come to the knowledge of 


cither of the tvro kings, lest the king of Scotland should hin- 
der them, or the king of England prevent them: yet when 
they had used all the expedition and secrecy they could, the 
English had notice of it, and were informed of both the day 
and place of their meeting. Wherefore, that they might en- 
trap them and take them at unawares, they advertised one 
another, and the noblemen commanded the commons to be 
in readiness against the next advertisement, without appoint- 
ing any certain day, for fear the Scots should hear of it. These 
things thus ordered, when they heard that the Scots were 
conveened in Teviotdale, not far from the march, to the num- 
ber of 30,000, or as Forysard saith, 40,000 men, not daring 
to join battle with such a multitude, they concluded not to 
stir or appear before the coming of the enemy, but that every 
man should remain in his own bounds, till they saw on whaC 
coast and quarter the tempest would light, and then to take 
the best course they could, according as occasion should offer} 
and if they could do no more, to invade Scotland on another 
hand, far from the enemy, as the Scots had done to them the 
year .before, and so to recompense loss with loss. In the 
mean time they sent a spy to the Scots camp, who might 
bring them more certain report of all things, desirous to know 
not only their intention, but even their particular speeches 
and actions; he who was sent being nothing different from 
the rest in language, apparel or armour, did easily pass for a 
Scot, and by that means having been in the company undis- 
covered, and having observed sufficiently all that was need- 
ful to be known, as he returned to his horse to be gone, which 
he had bound to a tree, he found that he was taken away; 
whereupon taking him to his feet, with his cloak, boots, and 
spurs, and his other riding equipage; he was perceived, sus- 
pected, taken and examined what he was, whence he came, 
and whither he went: and being found to vary in his 
answers, he was brought before the general of the army, 
where being threatened with the rack, he confessed all, and 
revealed the Englishmen's intentions and purposes. Upon 
this the Scots altered their design, and whereas they were be- 
fore mifcded to have gone altogether in one host, they now 



divided themselves in two; so that the greatest part of the 
army should pass in at Carlisle, led by the king's two sons. 
the Earls of Fife and Strathern, together with Archibald 
Douglas Lord of Galloway, uncle to the Earl. The other 
part of the army was committed to the Earl of Douglas, and 
with him George and John Dunbar Earls of March and Mur- 
ray, his uncles, William or James Lindsay Earl of Crawford, 
the Earl of Errol Constable, the Lord Montgomery and Pa- 
trick Hepburn of Hales, with his son: the number of his 
company is not agreed upon. Some say that he had the half 
of the army 15000, others but 2000 foot and 300 horse, with 
as many footmen waiting on the horsemen, who were lightly 
armed and able to fight, and almost equalling the horsemen 
in speedy expedition. Some say they were 4000 chosen 
horsemen in all, which is most probable by the great diligence 
and haste he made: with his company he entered England on 
the east hand, and crossing the river Tyne with great celer- 
ity; he was past Durham before ever the enemy was adver- 
tised or knew of his coming, till he himself made it known 
by fire and smoak, in burning the country. 

The Earl of Northumberland hearing of him, himself be- 
ing a man of great years, sent his two sons Henry and Ralph, 
hardy and valiant young men, to Newcastle, commanding the 
rest of the country also to resort thither, that they might inter- 
cept the Earl of Douglas in his return: but he having spoiled 
the country about Durham, and got a great booty, passed Tyne 
again, about three miles above Newcastle; and being desirous 
of glory, and encouraged by his success, esteeming it but small 
honour for him to spoil the villages, and not to dare to look 
upon the towns, marched towards Newcastle, and did make 
offer to have assaulted it, and, as some write, did assault it, 
having first filled the ditches with hay and faggots, hoping 
thereby to have drawn out the enemy to the open fields; ha- 
ving staid there two days, there passed some light skirmishes 
amongst them every day: and at last Henry Percy eldest son 
to the Earl of Northumberland (called Hotspur) being desir- 
ous to try his valour, either provoking the Earl Douglas, or 




provoked by him, the combat was offered, and accepted be- 
twixt them. They mounted on two fair steeds, and ran to- 
gether with sharp grounded spears at outrance; in which en- 
counter the Earl Douglas bore Percy out of his saddle: but 
the English that were by did rescue him, so that he could not 
come at himself; but he snatched away his spear, with his 
guidon or witter; and holding it aloft, and shaking it, he 
cried out aloud, that he would carry that into Scotland as his 
spoil, Holiinshed saith, out of Froysard, that they did not 
run on horseback, but that in an assault at the barriers with- 
out the gate, Douglas by chance being matched hand to hand 
.with Percy, by force plucked his pennon from him, and hold- 
ing it up on high, said, he would carry it for his sake into 

There were then at Newcastle a great number of people; 
for besides the indwellers, there were all the choice men from 
York to the borders, as the writers relate. Wherefore Earl 
Douglas, in respect of his small number, caused keep strict 
watch; and on the morrow, removing his camp, he marched 
toward Scotland at a slow pace, being ioaden with booty; 
then sending it away before, he assaulted, took and demolish- 
ed a certain castle and town that was in their way, called Pon- 
telan, whereof Sir Aymer of Alphel was Lord, whom he took 
within the castle, and made him a, prisoner. Then marching 
forward, they came to a place called Otterburn, about twelve 
miles from Newcastle, where they pitched down their tents 
that the soldiers might take some rest, and refresh themselves 
after their great travel, as not having rested that day, nor the 
night before, nor much any where since their entry into Eng- 
land. There they consulted about the rest of their journey, 
and the most part advised to march towards Carlisle, that they 
might join with the other army, that so they might observe 
the order given them, which was not to fight at all, till both 
hosts were joined together. . But the Earl Doughs thought 
best to stay there some three or four days, that they might 
cruell the Percy's bragging, who had affirmed that they should 
not carry his spear into Scotland; and that the soldiers might 


not be idle the while, they might be taking the castles, and 
gentlemen's houses, that lay near. To this opinion the others 
did yield for his sake, howsoever it seemed not to be the 
most expedient; so they fortified and strengthened their camp 
as well as they could on that side where it was weak, being 
fenced with morasses on the other side; they went and be- 
sieged a certain castle, called Combure. Percy would fain 
have followed them presently upon their retreat, but he was 
hindered by the better advised, for fear of an ambush: for 
they thought it was not likely that the Scots, being so few in 
number, would have assaulted so strong a town, unless they 
heard of some greater power to succour and aid them. 

Having therefore searched diligently that day, and the 
next, and understanding that the other great army was not 
to be feared, as being far from, the Earl Douglas, Percy 
marched towards him with 10,000 men, not staying for the 
Bishop of Durham, who was said to be at Newcastle that 
same night, esteeming his present forces sufficient to over- 
throw his enemies, who were fewer in number by the one 
half at least. The vanguard of the English host were come 
in sight, while the Scots were some at supper, and others 
gone to rest, being wearied with assaulting the castle. Here- 
upon the alarm was given, and the English approaching, as- 
sailed them fiercely, and were received valiantly by a part of 
the footmen and the lacquies, and the grooms; who having 
the advantage of the fortification which had been made, sus- 
tained the charge till the rest were armed and ready. At 
their first encamping, when they viewed the fields, they had 
espied a little hill, which they meant to make use of, if the 
enemy should follow and assail them, as they did certainly 
expect; and now it stood the horsemen in very good stead} 
for whilst the English assaulted the entry of the camp, the 
horsemen, fetching a compass about this hill, charged them 
in flank at the far side, in which charge many were slain; 
and the whole army was filled with tumult and fears: but by 
the coming of fresh supplies, the English abounding in num- 
ber, the battle was restored, and their ranks ordered as be- 


fore: yet this profit it brought to the Scots, that the fight 
being slacked at the entry of the camp, they had space to go 
forth, and to put their men in array. In the mean time night 
grew on, which was troublesome, and unwelcome to both; 
but being short, as in the northern parts it is in July, and the 
season fair, the moon-light did serve them instead of day-light, 
and the fight was continued very hard, as amongst gallant 
men on both sides, who esteemed glory more than life. 
Percy strove to repair the foil he had got at Newcastle, and 
the Earl Douglas did labour as much to keep the honour h6 
had won: so in unequal number, but both equally eager in 
mind, they continued fighting a great part of the night. At 
last a cloud covering the 'face of the moon, not being able 
to discern friend from foe, they took some respite for a 
while; but as soon as the cloud was gone, the English gave 
so hard a charge, that the Scots were put back in such a 
manner, that the Douglas's standard was in great danger of 
being lost. This did so irritate him, that he himself in one 
wing, and the two Hepburns (father and son) in the other, 
pressing through the ranks of their own men, and advancing 
to the place where the greatest danger appeared, renewed a 
hard conflict; and by giving and receiving many wounds, 
they restored their men into the place from whence they had 
been beaten, and continued the fight until the next day at 
noon. The Earl Douglas not being satisfied nor contenting 
himself with having renewed the battle, but himself, with 
two companions, Robert Hart and Simon Glendining, rush- 
ed into the midst of the enemies, and equalling the courage 
of his mind with the strength of his body, whatsoever way 
he set himself, he made great havock of the enemies. It 
was wonderful to see the great destruction that he wrought: 
Major, in describing it, can make no end nor satisfy himself; 
his comparisons are high, like a lion of Lybia. His descrip- 
tion of his body is, that it was fair and well compacted, his 
strength huge, which he yet amplilieth with greater huge- 
ness, saving that he fought with a mace of iron which two 
ordinary men were not able to lift, which notwithstanding 


he did weild easily, making a great lane round about him 
wherever he went: his courage and confidence appeared in 
his so valiant persisting, as though, he would have slain the 
whole English army himself alone; and seeking to find Hen- 
ry Percy amongst the midst of them, he was entered far 
within the ranks of the enemy. Hollinshed confesseth, that 
with a great mace in his hand he laid such sad strokes about 
him, that none came within his reach but he went down to 
the ground. And Boetius saith plainly, he fought with a 
mace heavier than any man was able to bear in those days, 
and that rushing into the midst of his enemies, he made such 
a slaughter, that it was chiefly attributed to his valour that 
the Scots won the field. 

But whilst he was thus fighting in the midst of them, be- 
Fore his friends could come at him, though they pressed for- 
ward to have seconded and assisted him with all the force that 
might be, they found him lying on the ground with three 
deadly wounds. There was lying dead by him Robert Hart, 
and the priest called Richard Lundie, who was afterwards 
made Archdean of Aberdeen, that had ever stood fast by his 
side, defended his fainting body with a halbert from injury; 
he being in this state, his kinsmen James Lindsay and John 
and Walter Sinclair came to him and asked him how he did: 
'* I do well, (said he) dying as my predecessors have done be- 
u fore; not in a bed of languishing sickness, but in the field. 
" These things I require of you as my last petitions: first, 
<{ that you keep my death close both from our own folk and 
u from the enemy; then that ye suffer not my standard to be 
*' lost, or cast down; and last that ye avenge my death, and 
*' bury me at Melross with my father. If I could hope for 
* ( these things, I should die with the greater contentment: 
** for long since I heard a prophecy, that a dead man should 
** win a field, and I hope in God in shall be I." Hereupon 
they covered his body with a cloak, that it might not be 
known, and then hoisting aloft his standard, and crying, as 
the manner was, A Douglas.' A Douglas! most part repair- 
ing thither from all quarters, they began the fight afresh 


for not only the common soldiers came thither, but the 
Earl of Murray also came with speed, thinking that the bat- 
tle went hard on that hand, for he had beaten those that he 
had to deal with, and Sir John Mackerell had taken the 
young Percy, named Ralph, and delivered him to his mas- 
ter the Earl of Murray, who had sent him being hurt, to the 
camp to be cured, as Froysard saith. Hollinshed and Boetius 
agree, that it was Keith marischal that took him. By this 
means the ardour of the battle being relented on that hand, 
the fight was renewed, and the strife redoubled on this side, 
and the Earl Douglas's followers, who were gathered about 
his ensign, did at last scatter and defeat the English, weary 
with the former fight which had continued both day and 
night: and in this assault the Lord Montgomery took Henry 
Percy their captain prisoner, whereupon the army fled and 
turned their backs. There were slain in this battle 184-0 of 
the English, and 1040 taken prisoners; 1000 also were 
wounded. Of the Scots there were 1 00 slain, and 200 taken 
prisoners', whilst they followed over rashly, fewer following 
more, they turned and took those that would have taken 

This is the battle at Otterburn, memorable not only for 
the magnanimity, courage, perseverence, tolerance of travel, 
and (in victory) modesty of soldiers and captains, but also for 
the variable event, where the victor, in high expectation of 
glory, prevented by death, could not enjoy the fruit of his 
travel. The vanquished, although his army was defeated made 
a prisoner, yet lived long after this battle with praise; for it 
was no reproach to him to be overcome, nor so great a blot 
to have been put to the worse, as it was honourable to have 
so contended. The event of battles is uncertain, and only in 
the hands of the highest: if men do their endeavour, what 
more can be required? It is not the least part of the Piercies 
honour that they did contest with the Douglasses, and did 
sometimes overcome, and sometimes were thus vanquished; 
though it were but seldom that the Douglasses got the worse, 
when their forces were equal. 

house of douglas; 1 jj 

Here there was great inequality, where notwithstanding he 
won the honour through the loss of himself: neither was it 
accounted dishonour to his army, though more in number, or 
to himself to have been thus overcome: for they are record- 
ed to have done their endeavours, and discharged the parts of 
valiant men, and were only overmatched by excellency of 
valour, as we have shown, and as it may be seen by all 
writers* not by hunger or cold, steepness of hills and moun- 
tains; which I speak not to reproach any, but to make known 
the truth, and withal, not to cover virtue on either side, 
which was confessed of all in that age; neither was any man 
found of another mind: only the Earl marischal of England 
being a little after sent down with a company to be warden 
of the borders, during Percy's captivity, who did build for 
his ransom the castle of Penoun, near to Glasgow, durst ex- 
tenuate the glory of the Scots with the reproach of his own 
countrymen, attributing the cause of this victory; not to 
the valour of the Scots, but to the cowardice of the English 
that fought against them, boasting much of himself, that, if 
he had been present, or if he should happen to have occasion 
to fight with the Scots, he should do great matters. But 
his boasting was soon made to appear but idle words: for, 
moved by these his speeches, the governor of Scotland, viz. 
Robert Earl of Fife, having raised an army, went into Eng- 
land with Archibald Earl of Douglas called the grimy bro- 
ther to this deceased Earl, and who did succeed him in the 
Earldom, and made directly towards the Earl marischal, and 
as soon as they came in sight, offered him battle: and when 
they could not draw him out to fight, they sent a herald to 
him to challenge him, and provoke him to fight, but all in 
vain; for neither did he send back any answer, nor would 
he come to an equal and even ground. Therefore they, 
having spoiled and wasted the country with fire arid sword 
in his sight, and as it were under his nose, returned home 
into Scotland, to the great contentment of the Scots, and 
no great discontentment of the English prisoners, who were 
not vorry that his vanity was thus discovered. Certainly, the 


truth can hardly be belied, and if partiality will not, yet in- 
differency will bear witness to it. Froysard, a stranger, and- 
favouring more the English, concludeth concerning this bat- 
tie, that in all history there is none so notable, by the bravery 
of the captains and valour of the soldiers, fought so long, 
so hardly, so variable, the victory inclining diversly several 
times, and at last obtained, not by the cowardice of the over- 
come, but by the valour of the overcomers. Neither is that 
virtue of valour only remarkable in this place, and marked 
by him, but their modesty, when they had overcome, rare 
and wonderful to him, (as it is indeed to others) but com- 
mon enough to the Scottish nation, practised by them often 
in their victories, and almost ever where some great enor- 
mity hath not irritated them, contrary to their nature and 
custom; yet here very singularly: for in the heat of the con- 
flict no men ever fought more fiercely; in the victory obtain- 
ed none ever behaved themselves more mercifully; taking 
prisoners, and having taken them, using them as their dearest 
friends with all humanity, courtesy, gentleness, and tender- 
ness, curing their wounds, sending them home, some free 
without ransom, some on small ransom, almost all on their 
simple word and promise to return at certain times appointed, 
or when they should be called upon. So that of 1000 pri- 
soners scarcely 400 were brought into Scotland, the rest all re- 
mitted in that same manner with Ralph Percy; and by his 
example, who because of his wounds, desired this courtesy 
of the Earl of Murray, and obtained it, and was sent to New- 
castle, on his naked word to return when he should be called 
for. But what courage and confidence was it, that they 
durst adventure with so great peril to be so courteous as they 
were? When the Bishop of Durham approaching to invade 
them the next day, with 10,000, as some say, with 7000, as. 
others, of fresh men; yet they would not kill their prisoners 
that were within their camp, equal almost to the half of their 
own number, but on their own promises t9 remain true pri- 
soners, however the field went, and with a small guard, hav- 
ing only pinioned them together with small cords, suffered 


them to live in the camp, and went themselves to encoun- 
ter the Bishop, full of confidence and scorn, that after the 
defeat of the flower of Northumberland; with their so wor- 
thy leaders the Percies, that a priest (so they called the 
Bishop) should dare to set upon them, or but to abide them 
three marked strokes, as their leader said to them in his ex- 
hortation: as it came indeed to pass without any strokes; for 
they affrighted him only with the sound of their horns, as 
it seems Major would say, which they winding against him, 
and the hills redoubling the sound thereof he was afraid, 
and durst not invade them, finding them ready and resolved 
to fight, whom he thought to have found weary because of 
their former travel, or negligent because of their victory. 
And considering (saith Froysard) there was more to be lost 
than to be win at their hands, the captain distrusting his host, 
and the host their captain, it was thought best not to give 
battle, and so he retired without assaulting them. Their 
leader, after the Earl Douglas's death, was the Earl of Mur- 
ray, saith Buchanan; but I should rather take it to be the 
Earl of March, for he was the elder brother; and Major saith 
it was March. However our Scotchmen's courtesy and cour- 
age is exceedingly to be commended, who notwithstanding 
that they looked for nothing but to have fought with the 
Bishop of Durham, yet they spared their prisoners, which, 
and the like actions, when I consider, I would gladly under- 
stand of such as delight to reproach our nation with all the 
calumnies they can invent, and amongst the rest, style them 
barbarous: What is it they style barbarity? And if cruelty 
and inhumanity be not the special points of it? whereof they 
shall never read that any nation were more free, or that ever 
hath been more courteous, humane, and gentle, in peace and 
in war, even at all times and in all places. I wish all men 
would acknowledge the truth as it is; if they will not, yet 
shall it be truth, and truth shall never want a witness. It 
will be acknowledged, and must prevail to their great re- 
proach that seek to hide or impair it. 
To return to our history. When the news of these things 



were brought to the other camp, which was in Cumberland, 
they were stricken with extreme grief, and were more sorry 
for the death of the Earl of Douglas than they were glad for 
the victory obtained; all their joy for that success being turn- 
ed into grievous lamentation. So great was the affection of 
all the army towards him, that not only those who followed 
him, but. those of the other army also,, retired home silent 
and sad as if they had been discomfited and overcome. It 
increased the commiseration of men, that he died in the 
flower of his age, and that he alone should be deprived of 
that victory which was obtained by his virtue and valour. 
And I think that the same affection doth continue in the 
hearts of the readers of the history, which is never mention- 
ed without a tender compassion. 

And for myself, as often as I call to mind his great worth 
and short life, I remember withal that of the poet, 

Ostendent tcrris hunc tantum jata, nee ultra 
Esse sinent, 8fc. 

The fates shall make but of this youth a show, 
Such virtue must not tarry long below. 

And with a great hyperbole, greater than piety can well 
admit, if any such speeches can be too great, which do not 
import what they speak, but are only brought to express the 
highest excellency that can be. 

. Kimium vohis Romano, propago 

Visa potens, superi, propria hcec si donaJliissenL 

The heavens had made the Roman race to be 
Too blest, if this gift had held on with thee. 

Change but the country name, call it Scotana propago, 
and you shall accommodate these verses more fitly here to 
this man; but most of all, in the simple sense, that which 

——-Non illi se quisquam impune ttdisset 

Obvius armatOf sen cum pedes iret in hostem y 

Sen spumantis cquijbderet calcaribus armos* J 


No man In arms that durst to him make head, 
Did 'scape unfoil'd, on foot or foaming steed. 

Which he, speaking of Marcellus, if he had lived, is wit- 
nessed of this Earl Douglas, even by the adversary, whilst he 
yet lived. To which purpose I remember, that worthy Sir 
Philip Sidney, in his defence of poetry, writes of himself, 
That he never heard the song of Douglas and Percy, but 
he found his heart more moved therewith than with a trum- 
pet; whereof he allegeth the cause to be the force and power 
of poetry: though it be sung (saithhe) by some rude crowder, 
and with no rougher voice than a gross style. What he saith 
of himself, I doubt not but others have found in themselves: 
neither is it the music of that rough singer that giveth it this 
force, far less the virtue of the gross rhyme; it is the matter 
that gives the efficacy, and the virtue of the man that beget- 
teth a resembling virtue in the heart; not by poetry, but bv 
the rightly described history. Indeed this is the man appar- 
ently who hath given subject to those songs, being the first 
that encountered with Percy in such a particular conflict: but 
that which is commonly sung of the hunting of Cheviot seem- 
eth indeed poetical, and a mere fiction, perhaps to stir up virtue; 
yet a fiction whereof there is no mention either in the Scotch 
or English chronicle: neither are the songs that are made of 
them both one; for the Scotch song made of Otterburn tell- 
eth the time, about Lammas, and the occasion to take 
preys out of England; also the dividing of the armies betwixt 
the Earls of Fife and Douglas, and the several journies, al- 
most as in the authentic history. It beginneth thus: 

It fell about the Lammas tide, 

When yeomen won their hay. 
The doughty Douglas 'gan to ride, 

In England, to take a prey. 

Whereas the other maketh, another occasion, and altogether 
different; yet it is not more effectual to move virtue than the 
true history here set down, nor indeed so effectual as it: and 
therefore let it be read, and read over again, by such as 6le- 


light in military virtues; chiefly by those to whom these ex- 
amples are as hereditary and domestic, which they must needs 
affect, as also all the other actions of the life; but none testi- 
fying a better mind, a better resolution of the' mind, more 
courage, more valour, with gifts of the body, strength and 
activity, all ruled by reason, and guided by wisdom, as is 
seen in his dealing with the Frenchmen, when they would 
have had him to fight with the king of England: which vir- 
tues of valour and wisdom so joined, are able to make a due 
harmony, acceptable to a right judgement, commendable to 
after ages, and profitable for the present. 

Boetius writes, that he died not in the field, but after the 
battle in his own tent, and that the Earls of Crawford, Mur- 
ray, and March went into his tent, and found him lying with 
three great v/ounds, almost dead; at which sight each looked 
upon other with a silent astonishment, and then burst forth 
into tears and weeping: which he beholding, said unto them, 
with a weak and faint voice which could scarcely be heard, 
*' I beseech you, good friends, leave your lamenting, and 
«« be glad of the present victory which God of his infinite 
*' goodness hath granted to us: we exposed our bodies to the 
« enemies' sword, to obtain that which we have obtained. 
* £ Turn therefore your tears into thanks, mindful rather of 
iC the benefit than sorrowful for that which has happened 
*< otherwise than ye wished. If ye regard my pains and my 
" life, which for you I lose, pray for my soul, and^follow 
« virtue and arms, as ye do, which you may employ for the 
" liberty of your country, keeping concord amongst your- 
sc selves, with a kind remembrance of me." 

Soon after these words were uttered, he died in the arms 
of his friends. Some say that he was not slain by the ene- 
my, but but by one of his own men, a groom of his cham- 
ber, whom he had struck the day before with a truncheon, 
in the ordering of the battle, because he saw him make 
somewhat slowly to: and they name this man John Bickerton 
of Lufness, who left a part of his armour behind unfastened, 
and when he was in the greatest conflict, this servant of his 


came behind his back and slew him thereat. But this narra- 
tion is not so probable. He was buried at Melross beside his 
father, with a military pomp of the whole army, and all the 
honour that could be devised for him besides by the abbot 
and monks of that convent, after the most solemn manner of 
those times. 

Jacobus Duglassius qui obiit ad Otterburnum Julii 21. 1388. 


Quceritis o quid again? en animamjam ago: fata meorum 
Hac sequor. Innumero hue vulnere facta via est. 

Nesciat hoc hostis: sequitor quam quisque secat sjpem; 
Atque aliquis nostrifuneris ultor ades. 

Finiit- et subito redivivo e finer e surgens 
Mars novus intonuit: victor et ultor obit. 

In English thus: 
My friends you ask me how I do? 
My soul is now prepar'd to go, 
Where many wounds have made their way. 
Conceal it, till you won the day; 
Pursue your hopes: this said, he dy'd. 
Then the whole ranks ' A Douglas!' cry'd, 
And charg'd afresh, that thou might'st have 
Revenge and honour in the grave. 

Before we proceed to speak of the next Earl of Douglas, 
the order of history requireth that first we speak of Archibald 
Douglas Lord of Galloway, brother to William the first Earl 
of Douglas, and of the said Archibald's natural son William 
Lord of Nithisdale. Of this Archibald we have mentioned 
what was remarkable in his brother Earl William's life, for 
that was the time of his action. The first was after the bat- 
tle of Penure, to be revenged of the loss whereof, the Eng- 
lish invaded Scotland with 50,000 men, as they say that make 
them the fewest, or 40,000 according to others, conducted 
by the Lord Talbot, a very valiant man: with this huge 
number when they had spoiled the country far and wide, as 
they retired towards England, they were assailed at a strait 
passage by the Lord of Galloway, who had not above 5000 


in his company; with these he discomfited his host, and re- 
covered the whole booty. There were slain -of the enemies 
in the conflict 400, and 200 taken prisoners, and many were 
drowned in the river Solway, as they fled unadvisedly. Some 
write, that he set upon them in the night, being encamped 
in a strait valley, not far from England, where the first that 
they met with being slain, the rest were affrighted and dis- 
ordered, and so overthrown. 

The next thing that we hear of him is, that he was with 
his brother the Earl at the conference with John of Gaunt, 
Duke of Lancaster, concerning a truce, and that he accom- 
panied the said Duke to Holyroodhouse. The truce was 
made for three years, 

And after these were expired, the Lord of Galloway being 
very much grieved that there should be a garrison of English 
in the castle of Lochmaben which did daily spoil and rob the 
villages and towns of Galloway and Annandale, raised a great 
power by the help of Ins brother the Earl Douglas and the 
Earl of March, and besieged the castle for the space of eleven 
days. There came some English companies to have raised 
the siege and relieved the castle, but he repulsed them. 
Thereafter having assaulted it very fiercely, the captain there- 
of, Sir William Ediston, yielded it up unto him, lives and 
goods safe, and he having got it into his hands, razed it 
to the ground. 

It is written also of him, that he went into France with his 
nephew James Earl of Douglas, when he was sent to renew 
the ancient league with that kingdom. 

The last of his actions that we can find is, that he was 
with his nephew James Earl of Douglas and the Earl of 
March at the taking of Wark, Ford, and Cornwall, where 
he wasted and spoiled the country, betwixt Berwick and 
Newcastle, with the Frenchmen. These Frenchmen not con- 
tent herewith, but desirous to do some other exploit, join- 
ing with Archibald Lord of Galloway, passed Solway Sands, 
and did great hurt in Cumberland. 

Jle is accounted by writers to have been a very sufficient 


and valorous gentleman, and that he died before the battle 
of OtterbUrn, in the year 1387. He founded the hospital 
of Holiwood; and to him succeeded his nephew Archibald, 
called the grim, in the Lordship of Galloway, and after- 
wards was both Earl of Douglas and Lord of Galloway. 

And here it is to be observed, that there were three Archi- 
bald Douglases almost contemporary, which are to be dis- 
tinguished, that we mistake not one for another. The first 
is this Archibald, brother to William the first Earl, who was 
Lord of Galloway then, when his brother lived, and who 
was father to the Lord Nithisdale. The second Archibald 
was natural son to good Sir James, slain in Spain, who was 
made captain of the castle of Edinburgh, when it was taken 
by his brother the Lord of Liddisdale, who was wrongfully 
named William in our chronicles, instead of Archibald. He 
was at the battle of Poictiers, and is reported to have married 
in France, and remained there till his death. The third is 
Archibald the Grim, of whom we shall speak hereafter. Our 
writers, through inadvertency, do several times confound 
these three, taking one of them for another. As when they 
say Archibald Lord of Galloway, son to Sir James slain in 
Spain, was taken at Poictiers; it is a manifest error: for if 
he was Lord of Galloway, he was not son to Sir James; if he 
was son to Sir James then was he not Lord of Galloway; for 
Galloway did never belong to Sir James, but to his brother 
Archibald, slain at Halidon*hill, who obtained it by marrying 
the heiress of Galloway (as hath been said) and gave it to 
his second son this Archibald. Thus much I thought good 
to advertise the reader in this place, for the better distinguish- 
ing of them. 


Of Willi a:,i Lord of Nithisdale, natural Son to this 
foresaid Archibald Lord of Galloway, commonly 
called the Black Douglas. 

JL HIS William Lord of Nithisdale, natural son to Archibald 
Lord of Galloway, is, of any else worthy to be spoken of 
by himself, being highly commended by writers, who say 
that he was the prime and principal of the youth of Scotland; 
that he was a man accomplished with all abilities of body and 
mind, straight and tall of stature, not overcharged with flesh, 
but big of bone, a mighty personage, valiant, courteous, 
amiable, faithful, merry and pleasant in company and converse, 
of such extraordinary strength, that whomsoever he struck 
with a sword or mace, he fell to the ground, were he never 
so well armed: he was also wise and sober. At one time 
having but 800 men in his company, he fought against 3000 
English, of which he slew 200, and took 500 prisoners. 
This is he that is commonly called The Black Douglas, be- 
cause he was of a black and swarthy complexion. His first 
vassalage of note was at the inroad made by Robert Earl of 
Fife, and James Earl of Douglas, when they burnt Cumber- 
land, Westmorland, and Northumberland. In this expedition 
he is said to have gained great reputation; for, besides many 
other exploits not expressed, he with other two only, made 
great havoc of the enemies, at the burning of the suburbs 
of Carlisle (who offered to hinder him from passing the 
bridge) by slaying some, and turning over others into the 
river. Some say that he slew with his own hands, three 
of the most valiant of the English, of whom one was a chief 
commander: afterwards, when the same town was besieged, 
the enemies having made a sally, whilst he repulsed them, 
and followed too eagerly, he was engaged too far in the 
midst of his enemies, and taken prisoner. As he was led along 
towards the town by four men, having been before disarm- 
ed, and his weapons taken from him, he struck two of them 


to the ground with his fists, and the other two betaking 
themselves to flight, he returned safe to his company. Here- 
upon his name was terrible to the English, especially the 
common sort, who did ordinarily affright and scare their 
children when they would not be quiet, by saying, The 
Black Douglas comes, the Black Douglas will get thee. 

These his virtues moved Robert II. to favour him so far, 
as to bestow his daughter on him, though he knew him to be 
a bastard. The lady's name was Giles, or Egidia, and she 
was a mirror or rare and singular beauty: so that whitherso- 
ever she went, she drew the eyes of all men towards her with 
admiration, The chief noble youths of the land did suit her 
in marriage; but the king preferred our William of Nithis- 
dale for his worth before them all. Boetius writeth that the 
king of France having heard of the fame of her beauty, sent 
a painter into Scotland privately, who having drawn her por- 
trait truly, and shewed it to the king; he was so enamoured 
hereof, that incontinent he dispatched ambassadors to desire 
her in marriage; but all too late, for she was married to Nith- 
isdale before their coming. The King gave him and his heirs 
to be begotten by him with his daughter, the Lordship of 
Nithisdale, lying nearest unto Galloway, with the office ot 
warden of that border, and sheriffship of Dumfries, with the 
office of justice and chamberlain, with a pension of three hun- 
dred pound sterling a year, out of the great customs of cer- 
tain burrows designed to that effect. He had by this lady a 
daughter, who was married to Henry Sinclair Earl of Orkney, 
who bare to him a son called William, afterwards Earl of 
Orkney. This daughter of his, married to Orkney, was nam- 
ed Giles, after her mother, as appeareth by a note that is 
extant of the descent of the Sinclairs. Her husband is called 
Henry Sinclair, and his titles are, knight of the Cockle, of 
the Garter, and Prince of Orkney. This note calleth Wil- 
liam Douglas, Lord of Nithisdale, Prince of Danskin, Duke of 
ftpruce.* Sir William Sinclair, son to Henry and Giles, is 

* Prussia. 


called knight of the Golden Fleece, and of the Cockle Princft 
of Orkney, Duke of Oldenburgh, Earl of Caithness, Lord 
Sinclair, Lord of Nithisdale with the rallies of Nith, Sheriff 
of Dumfries, great Admiral of Scotland, Warden of the 
Marches, great Justice-General, Baron of Erkford, Caverton, 
Cowsland, Roslin, Pentland, Harbartshire, Dysart, Ncwburgh 
in Buchan, titles to weary a Spaniard; which I have set down 
to recreate the reader, either by seeing his greatness, or to 
laugh at the vanity of the writer; and yet he hath forgot one 
of his titles, which is Chancellor of Scotland, as Buchanan 
calls him, and a confirmation given him by King James II. in 
the year 1 4:56, April 29th, wherein he calls him his chancel- 
lor and cousin. This confirmation is of the Earldom of 
Caithness, united into one barony, and his lands of Orkney, 
in compensation of his claim and title to the Lordship of 
Nithisdale, offices and pensions whatsoever that were given to 
William Douglas (his grandfather by his mother) by contract 
of marriage with Giles Stewart, daughter to King Robert by 
his wife Elizabeth Moor, as is at length therein contained. 

About the time of the battle at Otterburn, because some 
Irishmen that adhered to England, had roved upon the coasts 
of Galloway, and carried away store of booty and spoil; the 
Lord of Nithisdale, to be revenged thereof, gathered together a 
competent number of men, by the aid of his brother in law Ro- 
bert Earl of Fife; and by licence from the King, providing 
himself of ships and vessels, passed the seas into Ireland, and 
besieged Carlinford, a rich town in those parts. The towns- 
men fearing their town should be taken by assault, obtained 
a truce for certain days, promising to give him a sum of money 
to have their town saved. But in the mean time they assem- 
bled some 500 men, through the help of a neighbouring town 
called Dundalk, and joining with them, they divided them- 
selves into two squadrons or companies; the one of which at- 
tacked Robert Stewart of Disdeir, who conducted the Earl of 
Fife's men, and was gone abroad to bring in some prey; the 
other assailed the Lord of Nithisdale, who lay still before 
the town. Notwithstanding of this unexpected sally, they 


were received with such courage and valour, that at last they 
were put to flight; and immediately Nithisdale gave an hard 
assault to the town and carried it; having taken and rifled it 
sufficiently, he set it on fire, and burnt it to ashes. Others 
write, that at his first landing the citizens hearing it was the 
Lord of Nithisdale (whose name was so fearfully spread over 
all those quarters) not only rendered the town to him, but 
also received him with great triumph, as if he had been their 
king or prince; and that hereupon he used them courteously: 
but when his men were in great security, scattered and separ- 
ated, as fearing no hurt or danger, and some at their ships 
some sent with Robert Stewart of Disdeir to spoil the country 
about, which stood out against him, and to furnish his ships 
and the town; so that there remained not with the Lord Nith- 
isdale above 200 men, when they set upon him, as before we 
have said; and being beaten, the town was sacked and burned. 
Then they took sixty ships, which they found in divers ha- 
vens and creeks, and laded fifteen of them with such spoil as 
they had got, and burnt the rest. Then returning homeward 
they spoiled the Isle of Man, which lay in their way. He 
landed at Loch Ryan, which divides a part of Galloway from 
Carrick, and hearing there, of the inroad into England, he 
hasted him hither with all diligence. r 

But truce being made for certain years with England, that 
he might not languish in idleness, he passed into Spruce, from 
whence he heard that an army was to be sent against the in* 
fidels. There he gave such proof of his virtue and valour 
that he was chosen admiral of the whole fleet, which was very 
fair and great, esteemed to consist of 250sail, and was there cre- 
ated Duke of Spruce, and Prince of Danskin: but there arose 
dissention betwixt him and the Lord Clifford an Englishman, 
upon an old emulation, and present envy of his new prefer- 
ment, at which Clifford grudged. Wherefore, being chal- 
lenged to the field by Clifford, he accepted it gladly: but the 
other weighing with himself, what a hazard he was like to 
run by fighting with a man of such incomparable valour, found 
means, before the day of the combat came, to make him a- 


way by hired assassins and brigands, who murdered him in 
the night on the bridge of Danskin. The manuscript seem- 
eth to say that combat was not taken on there and then, but 
long before, while they were both at home) and that NithU- 
dale, before -the day, passing to Paris to provide armour fit 
for him, or on whatsoever occason else, Clifford gave it out 
that he had fled the combat-, but when he saw that he was 
returned before the day appointed, fearing to match with his 
well known strength and valour, would have shifted the fight 
with many frivolous excuses. Now there being assembled 
and met together at that time brave knights from all the parts^ 
of Christendom, Clifford partly for envy of the honour con- 
ferred upon his adversary, and partly remembering their 
old debates, but chiefly because of this disgrace and in- 
famy, of being put to this necessity of refusing to fight with 
him, he caused mercenary cut-throats to lie in wait for him» 
who, as he happened to walk through the streets, and view 
the walls of the town, set upon him, and murdered him, not 
without great difficulty: by which loss that enterprise against 
the infidels was disturbed and dashed. 

We told before how he is styled Prince of Danskin, and 
Duke of Spruce, in the monuments of the Sinclairs, of whom 
one had married his daughter. Sure it is, by the report of 
many eye-witnesses, that there was a gate in Dantzick, on 
which the coat of the Douglases was carved and graven in 
stone, which decaying, and being of late re-edified, this mon- 
ument of him is perished. The common opinion is, that 
Dantzick having been taken by infidels, was regained by 
Scotsmen; and therefore it is, that the Scots have such privi- 
leges there, and there is a part of the town which they call 
Little Scotland, which is inhabited almost with Scotsmen. 
All which must be referred most apparently to the Lord 
Nithisdale, and to this time, doth testify in some measure, he 
hath surpassed the quality and condition of a private man, or 
of a stranger in those parts, seeing he hath acquired the title 
of Prince and Duke, whereof we can affirm no more than 
hath been said. This fell out about the year 1389, or 1390, 
about the death of King Robert II, 


Of Archibald the Second, called tlic Grim, the Third 
Earl, and Twelfth Lord of Douglas and Both* 

U NTO James slain at Otterburn succeeded his brother Ar- 
chibald, whom Hollinshed wrongfully calleth his cousin. He. 
was married to the daughter of Andrew Murray, sister's son 
to King David Bruce, and governor of Scotland: by her he 
got the I*ordship of Bothwell, and many other lands; and she 
bare to him two .sons, first William, who died a year before 
his father, without children, and Archibald, who succeeded to 
his father; also a daughter named Marjory, married to David 
Prince of Scotland. Concerning this Archibald the Grim, 
we find not many particular acts of his recorded, besides those 
which he did in his father's time and in his brother's of which 
we have already spoken, although certainly he cannot but 
have done divers worthy of memory, seeing he hath the 
name and refutation of a most worthy captain, being so stern 
and austere in carriage and countenance, that he was termed 
the Grim Douglas, and by our writers, Archibald the Grim. 
Now that we may better understand the reasons of the 
Douglases proceedings and actions, let us, as our manner is, 
take a general view of the state of the country at this time. 
His succession to the Earldom by the death of his brother 
was, as we have said, not long before the death of King 
Robert II. who died in the castle of Dundonald, in the year 
1390, April 19. Before his death there was a truce made 
between England and France for the space of seven years, 
wherein Scotland was also comprehended. By reason of 
this truce partly, and partly for that his son John, who was 
afterwards called Robert III. was lame both of body and 
mind, and so no ways fit for war, there is no mention of any 
exploit done by this man; only it is said of him, that when 
King Robert HI. in the year 1396, and seventh of his 
reign, created divers Dukes, and would have made this 
Archibald one, he refused it as a npvelty and an empty 


title, not worthy of accepting, seeing it was neither bestow- 
ed for merit, nor service done, nor had any real advantage in 
it, save an airy show of appearing honour to please the hu- 
mour of ambitious minds, of which he was none. 

The next year following, Richard If. of England was de» 
posed, and the Duke of Lancaster was made King in his room, 
who was Henry IV. In the beginning of Henry's reign the 
seeds of war were sown upon this occasion. 

George Dumbar, Earl of March, had betrothed his daughter 
Elizabeth to David the King's eldest son, and had paid a great 
part of her portion before hand: but the Earl Douglas alleg- 
ing that the King's private contracting of his son, without the 
consent of the state, was not according to the custom of the 
kingdom, nor right and orderly done, caused the matter to 
be propounded by his Majesty to the Parliament, as former 
Kings had done, and as reason required, seeing the whole 
kingdom hath interest in the matching of their Princes, and 
King's children. There he handled the business so, that the 
contract with March's daughter was declared void and null; 
and his own daughter Marjory Douglas was contracted to the 
said Prince David, by consent of the Parliament; having offer- 
ed a greater portion with her, than the Earl of March had 
done with his daughter. He obtained for her jointure, all the 
rents and revenues which belonged to the King on the south 
side of the Forth. The way he took to bring this to pass, 
was by the means of the King's brother Robert Earl of Fife 
now made Duke of Albany, and governor of the country un- 
der the King, as he had been in their father's time, who did 
also then even govern both King and kingdom, and every 
thing as he listed; and Douglas and he were inward and dear 
friends, as his brother James, slain at Otterburn, and he had 
ever been: now, whether the Earl Douglas had that respect 
indeed to have matters of such importance to the kingdom 
done by common advice of the nobility chiefly, or if hi^. chief 
end were his own particular, because of the old emulation be- 
twixt the Ep.rls of March and Douglas, to hinder the growth 
ef that house, by this great advantage of alliance, or if he had 

House of douglas. 16 Y 

an eye to both, or to any thing else, Heave it to be judged by 

The marriage was solemnized in the church of Bothwell, 
with greater haste than good speed, or any comfort to either 
party that we hear of: for neither came this David ever to be 
King, which wai the thing that was expected, that thereby 
the house of Douglas might have been made greater: neither 
did this alliance of Prince David with the Earl of Douglas? 
stand him in any stead, in that he was most miserably handled 
by his uncle the governor, who aspired himself to the crown, 
which makes me wonder, why he did not rather hinder this mar- 
riage of his nephew with the Earl of Douglas, than thus further 
it; seeing in all likelihood it might have been a great let and 
strong hinderance to those his ambitious designs: but so are 
the secrets of things hid from us, that we cannot find out the 
causes and reasons of them by no means, being not observed 
or not mentioned by the writers of those times: however this 
marriage bred great contention and enmity between the Earls 
of March and Douglas, though near kinsmen, and did also 
disturb the peace and quietness of the kingdom: for March 
before the marriage was solemnized, didnot stick to go to the 
King, and upbraid him with breach of promise, which he said 
was neither just nor Princely, craving also importunately and 
roughly the restitution of his money which he had advanced 
for his daughter's portion. The King having not answered 
him according to his mind, he spared not to threaten, that he 
should be avenged for that ruffle and disgrace that he had 
put upon him and his daughter. And so retiring from court, 
he fortifies his castle of Dumbar, and gives it in keeping to 
his nephew Robert Maitland, he himself, having received 
leave of King Henry, went into England; whereupon the 
castle of Dumbar was summoned in the King's name bv an 
herald of arms, and was surrendered by the captain thereof 
Robert Maitland, into the hands of the Earl Douglas. The 
Earl of March returned into Scotland; but being excluded out 
of his castle at Dumbar, went back again into England, tak- 
ing his lady and children along with him, together with the 


nearest of his kinsmen, and his chief friends accompanying 
him. There he joined with Henry Piercy, called Hotspur, a 
perpetual enemy to the house of Douglas, and trusting to the 
favour and good-will borne him by these who dwelt on the 
cast border or march of Scotland, most of which were his 
vassals and dependents, many of them his kinsmen, and all of 
them tied to him by some relation or obligation: he troubled 
the Merse, and chiefly the Earl Douglas's lands, with frequent 
incursions and inroads. The King hereupon caused proclaim 
him rebel, and yet notwithstanding, sent to him a herald of 
arms, with profer of pardon and restitution, upon condition 
that he would return and live peaceably at home; and that he 
should receive all such satisfaction for any wrong he could 
justly complain of, as he desired. But when he refused to 
embrace this offer, the herald passed on to King Henry, and 
complained of the Earl of March, craving that be might be 
delivered according to the articles of truce. But he was an- 
swered by the King, that he had given him his word, and 
could not break it. 

In the mean time Piercy and the Earl of March, being em- 
boldened with divers successful attempts upon the borders, 
adventured with 2000 men to come into Lothian, where 
they wasted the country near unto Haddington, assaulted the 
castle of Hales twice, but in vain, burnt the towns of Hales, 
Trapren, Markill, and other adjacent villages. And while 
encamped at Linton upon Tyne, hearing of the Earl Douglas's 
approach, who had raised sufficient forces, and was marching 
towards them and was come as far as Pankrake, they arose and 
fled in great haste, leaving behind them all their booty, to- 
gether with their own luggage and carriages. The manu- 
script and black book of Scoon say clearly, that the Earl of 
Douglas followed them so quickly, that he overtook them be- 
fore they got to Berwick, and killed divers, having wrested 
an ensign out of the hands of Sir Thomas Talbot which he 
brought into Scotland with him. Boetius relates it not much 
otherwise. Our histories make no mention hereof, but only 


say, that the Earl returned to Edinburgh with great congratu- 
lation and joy of all men. 

He died not long after of a burning fever in the year 1400, 
in the beginning of February; very unseasonably for hi3 
country; which was destitute of able commanders in war, hav- 
ing lost divers others of good nore not long before. He was 
buried in Bothwell with his lady. He was a man nothing 
inferior to any of his predecessors or successors of his house 
and name, in any kind of virtue, and in special of true and 
real kindness to his friends and followers, as appeareth by 
a letter of his to the Earl of March, in favour of the laird of 
Ridpath, a gentleman in Lammermoor, who was his follower, 
and was wronged by the Earl of March in the possession of 
some lands; but more in March's refusal to right him; he as- 
sembled! his forces, and dispossessed the Earl of March's son 
and reponed Ridpath in his right, and maintained him there- 
in ever after, which his successors do enjoy at this day. As 
for his valour and conduct in war, he is termed the best cap- 
tain of his time, and that in his person the splendour and glo- 
ry of warfare both stood and fell. 

Others say that he left behind him an honourable memory 
of high prowess and noble valour, shewed in many enterprises 
by him happily achieved for the good of his country. la 
piety he was singular through his whole life} and most reli- 
gious according to those times. He did very much honour 
and reverence^all religious persons for whose use he founded 
the college of Bothwell. Out of his zeal and sincerity, he ex- 
pelled the nuns of the abbacy of Linclouden, and changed it 
into a college of clerks, because the nuns, saith Boetius, kept 
not the institution of their order; and Major saith it is to be 
presumed that they kept not their chastity, otherwise he 
could never have thrust them out. And in this he com- 
mendeth him, as having an eye to religion, and a special care 
of the pure and sincere worship of God, as his only end and 
intention. As for his prudence and loresight, it appeareth 
that he did greatly increase his revenues, and enlarge his dom- 
inions: he was trusty and faithful in his promises, and carried 


2*70 history of the 

a mind free from all ambition and vain glory: all virtues 
greatly to be accounted of, and imitated of all. 

Of Archibald the Third of that Name, and Thir- 
teenth Lord, the Fourth Earl of Douglas, Lord 
of Bothxvell, Galloxvay, and Amiandale, First Duke 
of Turrane, Lord of.Longuecille> and Marshal of 


*~>NTO Archibald the Grim succeeded his second son nam- 
ed also Archibald, he was married to Margaret daughter to 
King Robert III. and second of the Stewarts. She lies buri- 
ed in the church of Linclouden, with this inscription on her 

Hie jacet Margareta Scofce regis flia, Comitissa de Douglas^ 
vallis Anandice, et Gallovidice Domina. 

Here lies Margaret daughter to the King of Scotland, Countess of Doug- 
las, Lady of Annandale and Galloway. 

He had by her two sons, Archibald, to whom Thomas Fle- 
ming Earl of Wigton resigns the Earldom of Wigton, and he 
is entitled (during his father's lifetime) Archibald Earl of 
Wigton*, his other son was James Lord Abercorn, called gross 
James. He had also two daughters, Margaret married to Sir 
William Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, who was fifth in line from 
the Earl of St. Clarence's second son, that came first out of 
France, and was son to Giles or Egidia Douglas, daughter to 
the Earl of Nithisdale. Elizabeth was the other, who was 
married to John Stewart Earl of Buchan, second son to Ro- 
bert the governor, afterwards constable of France: her dowry 
or portion given with her in marriage, were the lands of Stu- 
arton, Ormeshugh, Dunlop, Trabuyage in Carrickj by resig- 


This Archibald is he who was called Tinertnarjj for the un- 
fortunate and hard success he had, in that he tint or lost al 
most all his men, and all the battles that he fought. The old 
manuscript of Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington giveth this 
nickname or cognomination to Archibald slain at Halidon- 
hill, and calleth this Archibald, one eye, for distinction, be- 
cause of the loss of his eye in a battle against Piercy. But 
that sirname of Tine-man cannot be given so conveniently 
to the former Archibald, who lost only one field, and himself 
in it; whereas this man ever lost his men, himself escaping 
often: he is distinguished also from others by the title of Duke 
of Turrane. But however he be named, it is true that no 
man was less fortunate, and it is no less true that no man was 
more valorous, as will appear by the history. 

At his beginning to be Earl, a little after the decease of 
his father in August 1409, Henry IV. of England entered 
Scotland with an army, ancj came to Edinburgh, where he be- 
sieged the castle, in the which the Duke of Rothsay Prince 
of Scotland, and with him the Earl of Douglas, were. The 
governor of Scotland raised an army to have given him battle, 
and was come to Calder-moor, but went no farther, and there 
disbanded h s army. The English histories say, that the gov- 
ernor sent word to the King of England, that if he would stay 
for him but six days only, he would give him battle, and that 
the herald got a silk gown, and a gold chain, for his news, 
from the King; but the King having staid twice six could hear 
nothing of his coming. The cause of the governor's slack- 
ness is given out by some to have been the desire that he had, 
that the Duke of Rothsay might perish, and be taken out of 
the way, that he himself might come to the crown. Now as 
all do agree, that he had these ambitious thoughts, so Major 
sheweth that there was also some other particular between 
them, whereof he relateth the occasion to have been this*" 
there was one John Remorgeny, who first laboured to per- 
suade the Duke of Rothsay to cause slay the governor, and 
then (when he could not prevail with him to wrong his un- 
cle) he dealt with the governor to cut off the Duke his ne- 


phew, as one that would ruin him, if ever he should come to 
be King. This Remorgeny was seconded by Lindsay, who 
was upon the plot with him, and helped it forward, upon ma- 
lice against Rothsay, who had betrothed his sister, and reject- 
ed her, as he had done to the Earl of March's eldest daugh- 
ter. This seemeth not to be unlikely, and giveth some fur- 
ther light to the history, as containing the cause of the gover- 
nor's not relieving the castle of Edinburgh. It is also a 
remarkable example of crafty counsellors, who are to be 
r.oted and avoided. And I marvel much how it hath escap- 
ed the diligence of our best writers. I thought it not 
to be omitted in this place, as an instance of fear concurring 
with ambition in the governor: and indeed these two are com- 
monly joined together, and take matter each of other. Am- 
bition bringeth fear with it, and fear spurreth forwards ambi- 
tion toward that it aims at; as being not only honourable but 
necessary, and the only mean to secure a man's self: especially 
where it lighteth upon such counsellors as these were, to blow 
the fire, whereof princes had need to be aware, and stop the 
entry to the first motions thereof. 

The black book of Scoon saith, that Henry IV. acknow- 
ledged himself to be, semi Scottis de sanguine Cumini, half a 
Scot of the blood of the Cummings; and that he took the Most 
High to witness, that he was not come to hurt the country, 
but only to have reason of some of the nobility, who had 
written to the King of France, that he was a trairor in the su- 
perlative degree, which letters his men had intercepted, and 
to try if the authors of these letters durst fight it with him. 
The manuscript saith, that he was disappointed of his purpose 
notwithstanding; for he thought to have taken the castle of 
Edinburgh, and to have made Scotland subject to him there- 
after; but it being valiantly defended by the Earl Doughis, he 
was constrained to rise from before it with great loss and dis- 
contentment, and no great credit; especially for that the win- 
ter drew on apace, having sat down before it about the end 
of September. I am not ignorant that our writers give this 
Henry the commendation of great modesty in this journey, as 
being mindful of the courtesy shown tto, his hither the Duke 



of Lancaster in Scotland, and that they say, that he used the 
prisoners not cruelly but courteously, and that when he pas- 
sed by the castles and forts of the country, he did only re- 
quire of the captains and keepers of them, that his ensigns 
might be set on the top of the wall, as a token of their sub- 
mission, and that they were in his will: but seeing their own 
authors deny him this honour, and say that he burnt the 
towns, villiges and castles, even a great part of Edinburgh, 
and Leith, we have small reason to contend with them for 
itj and so we accept of it, and follow the Scottish man- 

Upon Henry's departure, because the Earl of March trou- 
bled the country with frequent; rather than with great encur- 
sious, the Earl Douglas, who had the government of Lothian 
and the castle of Dunbar, went with an army into Northum- 
berland, and wasted the country with great havock. At his 
return he gave order that the barons and gentlemen should 
choose some of their number to be captains, and allot unto 
them a competent number to follow them, who might by 
turns wait and be in readiness, either to resist the enemy, or 
to make an inroad upon him in his own country, as they 
should find occasion. The first turn fell to Thomas Hali- 
burton Lord of Dirleton, who having entered England, and 
got a great booty near unto Bamburgh, returned home safe. 
But Patrick Hepburn of Hailes, (the younger) had not the 
like success; for he going upon the like adventure, had indeed 
taken a rich booty, but having staid a day longer than he 
should, and had been advised by his friends, in the enemies 
bounds, they gathered themselves together, 3nd following him, 
overtook him at West-Nisbet in the Merse. There, after a 
sharp encounter, the Scots had got the better cf the English, 
and well nigh the victory, till George Dunbar, the Earl of 
March's eldest son, coming in with 100 fresh horse, regained 
the victory to the English, and slew the flower of the youth 
of Lothian, together with their captain Patrick Hepburn. 
The fight happened th,e 22d of June 1401, the place where- 
of is yet Called the. Slaughter-hill. 

This Patrick Hepburn was entirely beloved of the Earl 


Douglas, and as dear to him as his own self; for he it was that 
fought so valiantly at Otterburn, and therefore he was filled 
with grief and indignation for his death; being so brave a 
captain, and so dear a friend to his house and to himself. 
His honour also, and the credit of his country, stirred him up 
to seek a revenge of the authors thereof. Whereupon hav-r 
jng obtained leave of the governor, he gathered together a- 
bout some 10,000 men, amongst whom were many of the 
chief nobility of the land, even the governor's eldest son Mur- 
doch, who succeeded to his father in the government, George 
Earl of Angus his own uncle, Thomas Earl of Murray, and 
John Dunbar brother to the Earl of March, one that had 
married the King's sister. With this company he entered 
England as far as Newcastle upon Tyne, and having got a 
great booty, was retiring homeward. In his returning, near 
unto Milfield, Henry Hotspur and George Earl of March lay 
in his way with a far greater power than he had. Where- 
fore the Earl Douglas took a ground of advantage, which 
was a little hill besides Homildon, a village in Northumber- 
land. Piercy would have marched straight towards him to 
have assailed him, but the Earl of March (being very skilful 
in war, and more calm and advised) staid him, and gave him 
counsel, first to send a flight of arrows amongst them, and to 
give them a volley of their field-piecesj which was done ac- 
cordingly, and did greatly annoy the Scots, and slew many of 
them. Douglas perceiving that he could not bruik that place 
with safety, thought it better to hazard the battle in plain 
field than to stand still and see his men slain about him by 
the enemies shot, while they stood safe, and came not within 
stroke of their swords and long weapons. And so (though 
far inferior in number) down the hill he goes, and gave a 
fierce assault upon the enemy. But the van-guard being 
brangled, and giving back, being much troubled and sore 
pressed by the archers, though they were sharply rebuked by 
Adam Lord Gordon and Sir John Swinton, and brought on 
again; yet were they not able to sustain and abide the shot of 
the enemy, but were defeated entirely. The rest that were 


behind, being exhorted by the captains to revenge the death 
of their fellows slain before their eyes, did acquit themselves 
bravely; but being overwhelmed with the greater number, 
were also overthrown at last. There were many slain, a- 
mongst whom were the forenamed Adam Lord Gordon, who 
had been at variance with the Earl Douglas, but in this ex- 
pedition he had been reconciled to him and knighted by him, 
and Sir John Swinton, two that gained great reputation of 
valour and courage that day, and fought so valorously, that 
if the rest had followed their example, that field had not been 
so lost. There were also divers others of note, such as John 
Livingston of Calender, Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, with 
a number of common soldiers. Many were taken of quality, 
Murdoch the governor's son, George Earl of Angus, Thomas 
Earl of Murray, Robert Erskine of Alloa, James Douglas eld- 
est son to the Lord Dalkeith, and his two brothers John 
and William, George Lesly of Rothes, Patrick Dunbar of 

In the black book of Scoon is set down the death of the 
foresaid George Earl of Angus, how be died in England of the 
plague, being a prisoner, with many others, and Alexander 
Home of Dunglas also, as the same book doth witness. The 
Earl Douglas himself was taken also, having lost one eye in 
the fight. This battle was fought on the Holy-rood-day in 
harvest or (as others) the 5th of May 1401, or 1402 rather 
as appeareth by the former history. 

Whilst the Earl Douglas was prisoner in England, the Duke 
of Rothsay became so riotous, and insolently unruly, that his 
father not being able to govern him by his own authority, did 
commit him to his brother the governor's tuition, to be co- 
rected and tamed by him. He made use of this occasion for 
compassing his own ambitious ends, or to be rid of the fear 
he had of him, shut him up in Falkland, and starved him to 
death. The black book of Scoon saith, that the Earl Dou- 
glas was wich the governor when he brought the Duke from 
St. Andrews to Falkland: but ic should rather seem that he 
hath been a prisoner in England when the Duke was thus 


used; for if lje had been at home, in all likelihood he would 
have reclaimed the Duke, being his brother-in-law, ami have 
brought him out of his wild courses; or by his credit with the 
governor, would have saved him, and prevented such ex- 
tremity, unless he had proceeded so far as to cast ofF the Earl's 
sister, whereof we hear nothing. And even in that case, see- 
ing there is always some hope of reconcilement between man 
and wife, and therefore such fallings out are often borne with- 
in princes, upon that hope; it is likely he would have used 
his care and credit to have composed things in some better 
sort: however whether through his absence or negligence, or 
that having small hope of amendment, he would not meddle 
in it; the Duke persists in his lewd ways, and grows rather 
worse than better. We read of no help or assistance that the 
Douglas made unto him, as he was bound by so near alliance. 
Neither do we hear how he carried himself towards the Earl's 
sister his wife; or whether she had any children by him or 
not, though they had been married at that time some four 
or .five years, and, he was a man of twenty-three or twenty- 
four years of age at the least, having been eighteen, when he 
was enstalled Duke in the year 1S96, which is a great neglect 
and oversight in our writers. This is clear, that neither par- 
ty had any contentment or comfortable success from this 
match, which they so much afFected, and brought to pass with 
so great trouble, disquiet and mischief to the kingdom; a no- 
table lesson for men to moderate their desires of any thing, 
and not to seek it over eagerly, though it seem never so ad- 
vantageous, in respect of the uncertainty of the sequel and e- 
vent of all human things. 

But to return to our prisoner: we see him hurt, defeated, a 
captive, but neither disgraced nor discouraged; no, nor any 
whit less esteemed by his friends or enemies: who indeed 
needed not to be over-proud of this victory, which was ob- 
tained rather by the multitude of men than mere valour; nei- 
ther were they yet quit with the house of Douglas for what 
they had received of them before: however these vicissitudes 
of fortune in the emulation of these two houses, Doughs and 

House of Douglas. 177 

Percy, were matter rather of sharpening than discouraging 
and dejecting their spirits, and bred not hatred, but an high- 
er, though emulous esteem of each towards other. This 
overthrow and loss of the Earl Douglas did not diminish, 
but rather increase his praise and glory, and that even 
in the opinion of the conqueror. It became also the occa- 
sion of showing his worth in a more conspicuous and public 
theatre, and on a more eminent subject and powerful enemy: 
for not long after, the Earl of Northumberland, whether 
for envy of King Henry's good success, to whom he had been 
a great friend in the beginning; or for that Henry usurped 
the kingdom contrary to his oath and promise; or for his ne- 
glecting to relieve Edmond Mortimer Earl of March, taken 
prisoner in his service against Owen Glendower by the said 
Owen, or out of indignation against him for craving to have 
his prisoners from him, which he had taken at West-Nisbet 
and at Homildon, of whom only they had sent Murdoch Stew- 
art to the King, or for whatever other cause, the said Earl 
entered into league with Edmond, Owen, and some other 
Lords, against the King, with such confidence, that they made 
a tripartite indenture, wherein they divided all England into 
three parts to each of them a third: whereupon Percy, esteem- 
ing highly of the Douglas's valour, having had good proof 
thereof at Homildon, offered, if he would take part with him 
in this enterprise, and show himself as valiant on his side, as 
he had done against him, that he should not only be let go 
without ransom, but also, if they prevailed, he should have 
Berwick and a part of Northumberland for his reward. 

Douglas, who was nowise slack to embrace any good oc- 
casion against England, gladly accepted the condition, and 
getting leave to come home, returned again at the time ap- 
pionted, well accompanied with many of his friends and fol- 
lowers. The leading of the vanguard was committed to him, 
which place he discharged bravely, and behaved himself so, 
as no man ever did more valiantly and admirably by all men's 
confession; for after the Scots who were led by him, had mada 
a fierce onset upon the King's vanguard, conducted by the 



Earl of Stafford, and forced them to give back, having almost 
broken their ranks, the King came to their aid with his fresh 
troops, and renewed the fight more fiercely than before. 
Douglas and Percy perceiving the King to be there in person 
bent their whole forces towards him with such voilence, that 
if George Dunbar Earl of March, who had of late betaken 
himself to the King's side, had not warned the King to with- 
draw himself from that place, Douglas had certainly slain him; 
for he made so hard an onset on the King's standard, that he 
bore down all before him, and slew the Earl of Stafford witk 
his own hands, who had been made constable of England that 
same day; as also three more, who were apparelled like the 
King: and when the King restored the battle again, and had 
broken the ranks of those that stood against him, Douglas 
seeing him the fourth man in royal apparel, he said aloud in 
great choler and indignation, Where the devil were all these 
Kings born? And withal running fiercely at him, beat him 
from his horse, and at the same instant slew Sir Walter Blunt, 
the King's standard-bearer, and overthrew the standard. But 
the King was rescued, and mounted again by those that were 
about him, especially by his own son, afterwards Henry V. 
and so escaped. At last the victory fell to the King's side, 
who had behaved himself most valoivusly, and is reckoned to 
have slain with his own hands thirty-six of the enemies. So 
that the victory is ascribed chiefly unto him, who did, both 
by word and example, encourage his soldiers, that they re- 
newed the fight, slew the Lord Percy, and with him discom- 
fited the whole host. 

The Earl Douglas was taken prisoner, and brought to the 
King, who would on no wise consent to have him put to 
death, though divers persuaded him to it, but commended 
his faithfulness to his friend, and praised his valour, which he 
honoured much; in regard whereof, he both caused cure his 
wounds, and sent him rich presents. Some write, that being 
asked by those of the King's side, why he did join with such 
traitors agninst the King, his reply was only this, It seemeth 
saith he, that the King is yet alive, thongh divers Kings have 


been killed to day. This answer being so full of resolution 
and courage, and void of all fear, did move the King to re- 
gard him so much the more. They tell also, that being hurt 
in his privy members, when, after the battle every man was 
reckoning his wounds, and complaining he said at last, when 
he had heard them all, They sit full still that have a riven 
fa-cik. The speech continueth still in Scotland, and is pist 
into a proverb, which is used to design such as have some 
hidden and secret cau3e to complain, and say but little. 

Holinshed writeth, that in respect of his noble parentage 
and valour, he was tenderly cherished by King Henry, and 
frankly and freely discharged without ransom; and such in- 
deed is the custom of generous minds, to honour virtue even 
in the enemy. It is generally agreed upon by all, that ha 
was highly honoured and esteemed; so that the King, or some 
of his nobles, caused draw his picture which is still to be seen 
in the privy gallery at Whitehall. But touching his delivery, 
some say that when he had staid in England certain months, 
be was with difficulty set at liberty, after he had paid a great 
sum of money. Others write, that he was detained eight or 
nine years at least, but that seems to be too much; fur this 
battle, called Shrewsbury-field, was in the year 1103, in the 
fourth year of King Henry, on St Magdalen's day, and Dou- 
glas was set free at the death, or not long after, of King Ro- 
bert III. of Scotland, in the year 1406. When the Earl 
heard word of his death, he made shift to agree for his ran- 
som, and so returned with all speed into Scotland. It is said, 
that George Earl of March didv him very good offices in 
England, and was a chief mean and instrument of his deliv- 
ery, being reconciled to him during his imprisonment; where- 
fore the Earl Douglas at his return procured liberty for the 
Earl of March to come home into Scotland, and to be receiv- 
ed a freeMiege again; but upon condition that he should suf- 
fer the castles of Lochimben and Dunbar to ranruin with the 
Earl Douglas and his heirs, notwithstanding of any agreement 
made between them to the contrary in England. And so in 
the year 14 11, he was restored by the governor, after he had 


remained fifteen years in England or thereby, having done 
great hurt to his country, and much good service to the Kings 
of England; but for all the service he did, he could neither 
move the King to restore him and repossess him again in his 
own, neither competent means and allowance for his estate 
and quality. A notable example for subjects, to learn 
hereby not to forsake their natural King, and native country, 
in hope to be supported or aided by foreign princes; far less 
thus to hurt and indamage their own country, for the plea- 
sure and advantage of strangers. 

The black book of Scoon ascribeth the restitution of the 
Earl of March, to Walter Haliburton son-in-law to the 
governor (Geuer Gubernatoris) by marrying his daughter 
Isabel a widow and countess of Ross, for which he got from 
March a forty pound land in Birgeam, and that the Earl 
Douglas got back Lochmaben and the Lordship of Annan- 
dale: however it be, a year or two after the Earl Douglas 
was returned, the Earl March was restored, whereunto Hol- 
linshed also seemetb to agree: for in another place, after the 
death of King Robert, which he setteth, in the year 1408, 
forgetting what he said before (that the King discharged 
Douglas frankly and freely) he writeth thus, " Archibald 
" Earl of Douglas, as yet remaining captive in England, after 
« 4 he had knowledge of King Robert's death, (to wit, five 
«' years after this at least by his own account) made shift to 
« l agree for his ransom; and so being set at liberty, returned 
'«' with all speed now at length into Scotland." Wherein he 
contradicts himself, and casteth down all that liberality and 
nanimity of his King, in dismissing the Douglas freely, and 
with so much the more blemish, as in saying it was done, h e 
acknowledged it should have been done, as it had indeed 
been most honourable and princely, and might perhaps have 
gained the heart of that worthy nobleman. But we find but 
R'w actions in that kind of full benificence practised towards 
the Scots; and it seems that his great worth hath extorted their 
admiration, and some offices of courtesy and common human- 
ly, such as were the preservation of his life, and curing of 



his wounds: but the old grudge of national quarrel remaining 
still in vigour, did choak the fruit of true princely dealing, 
and kept it that it came not to that full maturity of benifi- 
cence which the party deserved, and was suitable for such a 
King. Wherefore let him content himself with this honour 
that his valour was acknowledged abundantly, and himself 
by the confession of King Henry's own heralds, accounted one 
of the chief chevaliers and champions in Albion; and let him 
thank his own prowess more than their kindness for this tes- 
timony. We will also add a witness of these in our times, 
one of their own poets, Samuel Daniel, who speaking of 
King Henry's son, who relieved his father in the battle of 
Shrewsbury from the Earl of Douglas, ha writeth thus. 

Hadst thou not here lent present speedy aid 
To thy endanger'd father nearly tir'd, 
From fierce encountering Douglas overlaid, 
That day had there his troubled life expir'd. 
Heroical courageous Blunt array'd 
In habit like as was the King attir'd, 

And deem'd for him, excus'd the fault of his. 

For he had what his Lord did hardly miss. 

Lib. III. Stanza. CXIII. 

Taking Blunt for one of those that were apparelled like the 
King; whereas others account hiin to have been the King's 
standard bearer. But in the wars between York and Lancas- 
ter, it is more amply set down in this sort. 

Yet here had he not speedy succour lent 

To his endangered father, near opprest, 

That day had seen the full accomplishment 

Of all his travails; and his final rest: 

For Mars like Douglas all his forces bent 

T' encounter and to grapple with the best; 
As if disdaining any other thing 
To do that day, but to subdue a King. ' 

Lib. IV. Stanza XLIX. 
And there, with fiery courage, he assails 
Three all as Kings adorned in royal ways, 
And each successive after other quails; 
Still wondering whence so many Kings should rise: 
And doubting lest his hands or eye-sight fails, 
With these confounded on the fourth he flies. 


And him unhorses too, whom had he. sped. 

He then all Kings in him had vanquished. 

Stanza i, 
For Henry had dirided as it were 
Hie person of himself into four parts, 
To be less known, and yet known every where, 
The more to animate his people's hearts; 
"Who cheared by his presence, would not spare 
To execute their best and worlhest parts: 

By which two special tilings affected are, 

His safety and his subjects better care. 

Stanza H. 

And in Stanza LIV. speaking of Hotspur. 

But he as Douglas, with his fury led 
Bushing into the thickest woods of spears, 
And brooks of swords, still laying at the head. 

Then a little after in the LVI. upon the killing of Hotspur, 

Which thus mispent, thy army presently 

A» if it could not stand, when thou wert down, 

Disperst in rout, betakes them all to flee: 

And Douglas, faint with wounds, and overthrown. 

Was taken; who yet wan the enemy 

Which took him, by his noble virtue shown 

In that day's mighty work, and was preserv'd. 

With all the grace and honour he deserv'd. 

And that was ail, to be preserved and respected, but not 
easily nor soon dismissed; for, besides what hath been said of. 
this point, there is an indenture yet extant, which con- 
tains the agreement betwixt King Henry and him; that where- 
as the said Earl was lawful prisoner to him, or to his son John 
of Lancaster, he should have free liberty to return to his own 
country of Scotland, upon his giving of twelve noble hostages 
for his re-entering into the castle of Durham, being then in 
the custody of the said John of Lancaster. The hostages 
were, 1. Archibald Douglas his own eldest son and heir, 2. 
James his brother, 3. James son and heir to James Lord Dal- 
keith, 4. Sir John Montgomery Lord of Addeison, 5. Sir 
John Seton, son and heir to the Lord oeton, 6. Sir William 
Douglas of Drumlanrig, 7. Sir William Sinclair of Hermis. 
ton, S. Sir Simon Glendining son ar.d heir to Sir Adam oi 

House of douglAs. , ] g 3 

Glendining. 9. Sir John Harris, Lord of Terregles, 10. Sir 
Harbert Maxwell, 11. Sir William Hay, 12. Sir William 
Borthwick. The condition bears, that upon the Earl's re- 
entry of his person into the wards of the said John of Lan- 
caster, the said hostages were to be set free to repair with safe 
conduct to their own countries, and that within forty day* 
after the Earl's re-entry, or after his death: and that the prince 
Thomas, and his said brother John, and the Earl of West- 
moreland should be obliged by express commandment from 
the King to secure the said hostages, during the time of their 
abode and residence in England. And if the Earl should fail 
of his re-entry again, that the said hostages should be at the 
King's disposing. And in case the Earl should die, his eldest 
son and heir was to abide prisoner with the King in his son's 
keeping, and the rest of the hostages were to be set free im- 
mediately. And further it was conditioned, that the Earl 
should do his uttermost to keep the truce that had been treat- 
ed of between the King, his council, and the said Earl; and 
that he should cause it to be ratified and confirmed by both 
the realms of Scotland and England for 16 years: and in case 
he could not obtain that, that then the said Earl for himself, 
and his countries between the east and west seas, inhabited by 
any of his men and vassals, should keep truce with England 
from Pasch next, till Pasch thereafter. These conditions 
were drav/n up by the King's council in the form of an in- 
denture, whereof each had a counterpane, signed, sealed and 
delivered reciprocally by the said parties at London, the 14th 
of March 1107. 

During the time of his captiviry in England, the Duke of 
Rothsay was famished to death by his uncle the governor, who 
being accused thereof by the King his brother, made such a 
s lender purgation, that the King fearing he would do the like 
to his other son James, sent him by sea to France, where he 
might remain in safety, until he were come to years. But 
being driven in by storm of weather into the coasts of Eng- 
land, he was detained as a prisoner by the King and State. 
Hereupon followed the death of the desolate father, and the 


continuance of the governor in his office. And now Doug. 
las, being come home, in the year 1411, he kept good corres* 
pondence with the Earl of March ever after; for there had al- 
ways been friendship betwixt the two houses of March and 
Douglas, until the match with the Duke of Rothsay did sep- 
arate them; and now that being away and digested; and March 
having furthered Douglas's delivery out of captivity, and 
Douglas procured, or helped to procure March's peace and 
restitution, they joined ever thereafter in all common affairs. 
Some write that those two did burn the town of Roxburgh, 
but it seems to be a mistake; for what was done ere they came 
home by William Douglas of Drumlanrig, and Gawin, third 
son to the Earl of March. After their return, there is no 
mention of any exploit of war between Scotland and England 
for the space of ten years; whether it were that there hath 
been any truce, or that Henry IV. dying, his son Henry V, 
was so taken up with the war with France, that he had no 
leisure to look towards Scotland, or that the governor durst 
not attempt any thing against him, for fear he should send 
home the rightful heir to the crown of Scotland, whom he 
had in his power and custody, and who he doubted not, 
would find favour enough in Scotland, both for his right, and 
out of commiseration of his state and condition. So there 
was nothing done, except some slight and private inroads, 
such as when the Earl Douglas burnt Penrith, a town in Eng- 
land, at which the Earl March is also said to have been in the 
year 1414. 

In the year 1420, the governor died, and his son Murdoch 
was made governor in his place, having been relieved a little 
before by interchange of a son of the Earl of Northumber- 
land. He was of a dull and heavy spirit, and of no author- 
ity, not so much as to govern his own family, which made 
him to be little regarded. About this time the civil war in 
France grew hot between Charles VI. King of France, Phil- 
lip Duke of Burgundy, and Henry V. of England on the one 
part, and the Dauphin of France on the other; for Philip of 
Burgundy had persuaded the King of France to disinherit his ' 


Son the Dauphin, and to give the crown with his daughter to 
Henry of England. So that the Dauphin, afterwards King 
Charles VII. was reduced to that extremity, that his enemies 
called him in derision King of Bourge, because his residence 
for the most part was in Bourge in Berry. Wherefore he 
being thus abandoned by his own countrymen, and destitute 
of all foreign help, sent this year the Earl of Vendosme am- 
bassador into Scotland, to crave aid, according to the antient 
league, and made great promises to all the Scots that would 
assist him in this quarrel. It was willingly granted by the 
whole state, and 7000 men agreed upon as a competent 
number for that service, which was soon made of volunteers, the 
youth of Scotland being now greatly multiplied by long peace 
with England. Their generals were John Earl of Buchan 
and Archibald Earl of Wigton, the one the son, and the other 
son-in-law to Archibald Earl of Douglas. e 

Whilst they were busied in France, the Earl Douglas was 
not idle at home, for the black book of Scoon beareth that he 
went with an army to besiege the castle of Roxburgh, and 
with the governor Murdoch, against Berwick-, but they return- 
ed both without effecting any thing, by reason of the treach- 
ery of some Scots; wherefore this was named the Foul Road* 
We read of Douglas also how he was judge to a duel in 
Bothwelhaugh between John Hardy and Thomas Smith. 
This Smith had accused the other of treason; which Hardy 
denying, and the other not being able to prove it by witness- 
es, the combat was appointed for trial of it, in which Smith 
the accuser was slain. The same book also s;\ith, that in the 
year H20 or 21 the Earl Douglas entered England, and 
burnt the town of Alnwick. 

But here it will not be impertinent for us to step over to 
France, and see what Buchan and Wigton are doing, seeing 
that this employment gave Wigton occasion to show himself 
there, and did afterwards draw over his father the Earl 
Douglas thither; and the order of time doth also lead us to 
speak of those things in this place. We have told before 
how John Stewart Earl of Buchanj who was second son to tht' 

A a 

1 SG History of the 

former governor, and brother to Murdoch present governor 
of Scotland, and Archibald Douglas Earl of Wigton, whose 
sister Buchan had married, were chosen to conduct the forces 
sent into France, to aid the Dauphin against the King of 
England and Duke of Burgundy. The chief gentlemen of 
note and quality that went along with them, were Robert 
Stewart, another son of the governor's, Alexander Lindsay 
Brother to the Earl of Crawford, and John Swinton, knights, 
being arrived in France, they were received by the Dauphin 
with great joy, and made heartily welcome; who gave them 
the town and castle of Chastillon in Touraine for their ren- 
dezvous and place of.retreat and resort, being a fertile coun- 
try, and abounding in all things necessary; as also for that it 
lay near unto the enemy, for the Duke of Clarence, King 
Henry's brother and lieutenant, was about to have spoiled the 
country of Anjou, or as Hollinshed says, had spoiled it al- 
ready, and had retired into the town of Beaufort in the valley, 
and was ready to assault a town called Vieille Bauge, old Bauge, 
some two days before Pasch. The Scots expecting, that as 
the manner then was, he would have abstained from all feats 
of arms, and have given himself to the devotion of the time: 
cr having, as some others say, taken and given assurance for 
eight days, which is the space of time commonly bestowed upon 
that solemnity, were somewhat remiss and negligent in their 
discipline. The Duke of Clarence having notice hereof by a 
Lombard called Andrew Fregosa> as some say, or by some 
Scottish prisoner intercepted^ as the annals of France do bear, 
who discovered to him the government of their ai-trw, and 
the carriage of their leaders and captains, was very glad cf so 
good occasion, as he deemed it; to take them at unawares, 
and defeat therm Wherefore he rose presently from dinner, 
and taking with him only the horsemen, leaving the archers 
under the conduct of the bastard of Clarence, Sir Thomas 
Beaufort, whom he had lately knighted at Anglers, together 
with two Portugal captains to assist him, he made straight 
toward the enemy, saying, that he and the nobles only would 
have the honour of that clay; he went with great confidence 


to have surprised the enemy, carrying a fair coronet of gold on 
his head, and very magnificently apparelled, as if he had been 
riu'ing in triumph. 

There was a village called little Bauge, through which the 
Duke was to come, where a few Frenchmen of the Dauphin's 
side lay. These being terrified with the sudden coming 
of the English, got up into a steeple far safety and sanctuary: 
there while they make a halt and assault the steeple, the cry 
riseth, and the noise of their approach was carried to the rest 
of the army, who presently ran and took arms. While they 
were arming themselves, Buchanand Wigtonsent thirty archers 
to keep a certain bridge, by which it behoved the enemy to pass 
over a brook which ran in the way. These went as they were 
commanded; and as they weregoim;, Hugh Kennedy came out 
of a church where he lay with an hundred men, but unarmed, 
or half armed, by reason of the great haste, and joined with 
them: while they defended and made good the bridge, and kept 
off the horsemen with shot of arrows, the Duke, with the princi- 
pal of his company alighted from their horse, and made such an 
onset upon them, that they were forced to leave the bridge and 
passage open for the enemy. Being past the bridge, while 
the Duke mounteth again on horseback, and the rest of his 
folks are passing after him, Buchan and Wigton came upon 
him with two hundred horse, and enter there into a sharp 
conflict on both sides, both parties being most part noble-? 
men, who were desirous of glory, and had a mind to give a. 
proof of themselves with equal courage and hatred. The 
Scots were glad to have occasion to show the French what 
they could do; and to confute their whisperings and surmis 7 
es, wherein they reproached them, as fit only to. consume 
victuals, and the English were moved with great indignation, 
that they should be thus perpetually troubled by the Scots, 
not only at home, but also abroad beyond the sea in a foreign 

And none among the English fcught with a greater 
courage and resolution than the Duke himself: but Sir John, 
Sainton espying him, being easily known by his coronet 


shining with precious stones, and his glistering armour, ran 
fiercely at him with a lance, and wounded him in the face, 
he being hereby in a great fury, put forward his horse to have 
charged the enemy, but was encountered by the earl of Buchan, 
who ran him through with a spear, and so slew him; or, as o- 
thers, felled him down to the ground with a steel hammer. The 
rest seeing him fall, some fled, and many were slain in their 
flight, being pursued till the night came on. This battle was 
fought on Pasch Eve, in the year 1420, or, as our writers and 
the English say, 1421. There were slain of the English 200 
nobles and gentlemen, the Duke of Clarence, the Earl of Tan- 
kerville, the Lord Ross, Sir Gilbert Umfravile; whom they 
call Earl of Angus, John Lumley, Sir Robert the Earl of 
Somerset and his brother whose sister James I. did marry 
afterward, Suffolk and Perch, the Lord Fit2 water, Sir John 
Barclay, Sir Ralph Nevil, Sir Henry Inglis, Sir William 
Lanton, Sir Thomas Boroughs, were taken prisoners. There 
were but few slain of the Scots and French, and those mean 
and obscure men. This is the most common report of the 
Duke of Clarence's death, but the book of Pluscardin saith, 
that he was slain by Alexander Maclellan, a knight in the 
Lennox, who also having taken the coronet from off his head 
sold it to John Stewart of Darnley for 1000 angels. 

This victory being obtained, most part by the valour of the 
Scots, the Dauphin, in recompence hereof, made Buchan con- 
stable of France, and mortgaged the Dukedom of Touraine 
to Wigton, the revenue whereof at that time was valued to 
10,000 crowns. The reversion of this dutchy he gave after- 
wards to the Earl Douglas his father, who was created abso- 
lute Duke of Touraine and Lord of Longueville and establish- 
ed the same to his male heirs, as shall be shown hereafter. 
The French writers say also, that he made Wigton Marshal 
of France. 

The King of England, upon the death of his brother, came 
into France in May, or about the beginning of June, and car- 
ried along with him the heir of the crown of Scotland, after- 
wards King James I. thereby to divert the Scots from assisting 


the Dauphin or to have made the Dauphin to suspect their fi- 
delity: but none of those plots succeeded as he would have 
had them; for neither would they acknowledge him for their 
King, being in another's power, neither did the Dauphin con- 
ceive any sinister opinion or jealousy of them; wherefore th* 
same year, or the next, to wit, 1421, the Dauphin caused be- 
siege the town of Cosne upon Loire; and Henry departed 
from Paris to have relieved it, but by the way he was over- 
taken with sickness, and returned to Bois de Vincennes; yet 
he sent the Duke of Bedford with a puissant army to succour 
it, and the Scots and French finding themselves too weak to 
resist, rose and retired to a strength, where the rest of the 
army had assembled with resolution to abide the enemy's com- 
ing. While as the English were preparing to fight, news 
were brought them of their King's death, which made them 
to alter their purpose of giving battle. The King died about 
the last of August 1121, and his corps was carried into Eng- 
land the 22d of October. Not long after, Charles King of 
France died also, which was the occasion that Buchan and 
Wigton, with many of the gentlemen that accompanied him, 
returned into Scotland. 

But it was not long ere the Dauphin had need of them, sent 
his chancellor Rene de Chartres, andthe archbishop of Rhemes, 
into Scotland to recal his constable, but the Earl of Wigtori 
was so vehemently sick that he could not possibly travel; 
wherefore the Earl Douglas his father went in person him- 
self, and being a nobleman greatly regarded, far above any 
other subject in Scotland, there went with him great store of 
young gentlemen, some to do him honour, some to be partici- 
pant of his fortunes, and most to be trained under him in dis- 
cipline of war; so besides those that went over with Buchan 
and Wigton in the year 1420, there went at this time with the 
Earl Douglas 1 0,000 more, as saith Hollinshed. They landed 
at Rochel,and being to come to the Dauphin, were gladly wel- 
comed and much made of, especially the Earl Douglas, of whom 
he heard much by report, that he was both valiant and skilful 
in war; and therefore he installed him in the dutchy of Tou- 


raine, which lie gave to him his heirs for ever, having only 
engaged it before to his son, upon reversion, and moreover 
made him Marshal of France. 

This hath been, in all appearance, in the year 14-23 at most, 
yet we do not find any memorable thing done by them, or a- 
gainst them, until the battle of Vernoil, which, if we read our 
histories, one would think it had been fought immediately 
upon their landing, though it be clew that it was not till after 
the death of King Henry V. and in the second year of his 
son's reign, in the year of God 1424: the occasion whereof 
was this: the Earl of Bedford having besieged Yvry, the Dau- 
phin, to relieve it, sendeth the army under the conduct of 
the Duke of Touraine, whom the French call Marshal Dou- 
glas, of the constable Buchan the Earl of Narbonne, and o- 
thers. They not being able to force Bedford's camp, when 
they were come within two miles, of him, returned towards 
Vernoil in Perch, which belonged to the King of England, 
and sent word to the garrison there, that they had discomfit- 
ed the English army, and that Bedford with a small number 
hid saved himself by flight. The garrison giving credit there- 
to, did open the gates, and received them with the whole ar- 
my, into the town, where having left a part of their army, 
they came and encamped in the fields near the town. 
Bedford having got Yvry by^composition or surrender, follow- 
eth them and sent word to the Duke of Touraine by a trum- 
pet, that he would come 2nd dine with him. The Duke bade 
him come, he should be very welcome, for all was ready: nev- 
ertheless, when the point came to consultation, his opinion 
was, that they should not fight at that time, because he thought 
it net fit to hazard a battle but in case of necessity, and that 
they had no necessity to fight at that time, in respect that they 
had Vernoil in their hands, and other two good towns besides, 
whereby they might be plentifully furnished with provisions, 
which the English could not have, and thereby would be con- 
strained to retire: but the Earl of Narbonne was earnest to 
have them fight, and said, the nobility of France should not 
receive such a bravade from the enemies, and if none would. 


fight, he Would do it alone; and so getting him hastily out 
Of the counsel, he began to put his men in order. 

The Duke of Touraine took such indignation hereat, that 
he should offer to fight without his leave, that he determin- 
ed not to have stirred at all, and it was long before he would 
suffer his men to go forth-, yet at last, thinking that it would 
reflect upon him if he should sit still, and see them overthrown 
in his sight, he armed and went forth also: but then there a- 
rose some strife for the vanguard betwixt them, which made 
things to be so confusedly handled, that the English got the 
victory, slew the Duke, Buchan, Sir Alexander Lindlay, Ro- 
bert Stewart, and Sir John Swinton, with above 2000 others 
of all sorts. Hollinshed, in his chronicle of England, saith, 
but upon what warrant we know not, that the Earl Buchan 
constable was not slain, but lost an eye only, and was taken 
prisoner: he reckoneth among the slain Sir Alexander Home, 
whom our writers do not mention, yet it is true, and known 
to them of that house, that Sir Alexander Home of Dunglas 
went thither in the Earl Douglas's company, and was slain 
with him; for they tell how Sir Alexander being minded to 
send his brother David Home of Wedderbum, went to ac- 
company the Earl to his ship and when they were pitting, 
Douglas embracing him kindly, said to him, would I have 
believed, Sir Alexander, that ever you and I could have been 
separated from one another? To whom he replied, surely 
then, my Lord, I shall not part: and so taking his brother 
David's apparel and furniture, he went with him, and sent 
David back to take care of his house and children in his ab- 
sence, or in case of his death, which he alsfc* did with such 
fidelity and industry after the death of his brother, that he 
greatly increased the estate, and purchased for a you 'ger son 
of his brother's called Thomas, the lands of Tiningham, and 
for another, named James, the lands of Spot. He is said to 
have purchased Wedderburn for himself; but the truth is, ha 
had it ten years before, not by marriage, but by the gift of 
Archibald Earl of DougLr, which must have been the same 
Duke of Touraine, as the dale of the evident doth clearly 


show, being of the year 1113. His son Archibald also in- 
titling himself Earl of Wigton, and Lord of Longueville and 
Eskdale, giveth to the same Sir Alexander Home a bond of 
1000 nobles, dated at Bothwell the 9th of February 142*, 
whom it designeth Sir Alexander Home of that ilk, which I 
mention the rather to show what great friendship hath been 
between them. 

Here again I cannot pass by the sloth, and inattentiveness 
of writers, Scots and English, who reckon amongst the slain 
here a son of the Earl of Douglas, whom some call James, and 
make him his second son, nay some do even make him his 
eldest son and heir, and call him Earl of Wigton: but those 
are all mistakes for the Earl of Wigton, whose name was Ar»- 
chibald, was left sick at home, and possessed the Earldom af- 
ter his father's death; neither yet was it James, his second 
son, who was Lord of Abercorn, and outlived his elder bro- 
ther, and his children that were put to death in the castle of 
Edinburgh, to whom also he succeeded in the Earldom, as the 
same writers themselves, almost all of them, confess: where- 
fore the reader had need even to read the best writers with 
judgement and attention, seeing such escapes are incident e~ 
ven to the most accurate and careful historians. 

Touching this battle, this is the relation of it by De Serres, 
in his inventory, whom I have chosen to follow, not because 
I think it the fullest or faithfullest narration, (for certainly 
the French writers speak slenderly enough of the actions of 
strangers as may be instanced in the battle of Bauge, and o- 
ther exploits done by the Scots in France, which they pass 
in silence) but because his testimony cannot be rejected by 
the French, and may well be admitted by the English, as be- 
ing indifferent for his person, and nowise partial in his pen, 
at least in setting forth this battle; but if we shall rely upon 
the writings or reports of our own countrymen, the loss of 
that field was caused for the envy and treachery of the Earl 
of Narbonne. We heard how Douglas and he contested for 
the vanguard, each striving who should be first: Douglas be- 
ing ready sooner than he, or being quicker in his march, led 


on before him, and charged the enemy first, whereupon he 
abandoned them, and would not second them as he should 
have done; and so it came to pass, that they being destitute 
of his help, and not being able to make head against such a 
multitude, were encompassed about by the English, who saw 
their backs left bare, and so overthrown, fighting valiantly, 
that they might die nobly. Some blame the Lombards, who 
were in the army assisting the French that were for the Dau- 
phin, but tell not why, nor wherefore, nor wherein; others say, 
that there were 400 of them all horsemen, who being com- 
manded to break the ranks of the English, either in the flank 
or in the rear, did what they were appointed to do, and hav- 
ing broken through the English army, went to their carriage 
to pillage and spoil, without prosecuting their charge anv 
further, and so having got their prey, departed off the field; 
whereupon 2000 English archers, that were set to keep the 
carriage and had now no more to do, entered jnto the battle, 
and being fresh and unwearied, made such an impression, that 
they did cast the balance and gave the overthrow; whereas 
before they had fought for the space of three hours so doubt- 
fully, that no eye could guess which way the victory would 

Major also telleth us, that there was some dissension be 
tween the Duke of Touraine and Buchan for precedency, but 
that is not likely; for although Buchan had the honour to be 
constable, and was the chief commander, so iong as he had no 
other colleague but "Wigion his brother-in-law, yet the Earl 
Douglas being an old experienced commander, and it bein^ 
ever his due to lead the vanguard at home, and being even 
there, for his well known worth and sufficiency, made Duke 
and Marshal upon his first arrival, it carrieth no appearance 
that the other would strive with him, especially seeing he was 
his son-in-law, for he had married his daughter, and also the 
younger soldier; and that the English did acknowledge the 
Duke for chieftain, is evident, for Bedford sent the trumpet to 
him, and he returned answer: it was he that resolved they 
should not fight, and took it ill at Narbonne's hands that he 



would not follow his conclusion, and obey his direction; so as 
I cannot be persuaded that there could, or would be any dif- 
ference between them for that matter; and if there had been 
any, they would have composed it, and agreed betwixt them- 
selves before that time to have resisted the common enemy: 
however they both died in the field; and the Earl of Narbonne 
wanted not the reward either of his treachery or headiness and 
folly, for he was taken and hanged as guilty of the death of 
the Duke of Burgundy: a notable example of the end of such 
as ca.'ry themselves after such a manner. 

Of those that escaped at this defeat Charles the Dauphin, 
afterwards King Charles VII. erected a company, to continue 
a guard to himself and his successors for ever, of the Scots na- 
tion; for he was not contented to reward their nobles and 
leaders with honours and dignities, but thought himself also 
obliged to recompense even the inferior sort, and to respect 
the whole nation, whose valour and fidelity he had found to 
deserve rewarding; as also he saw their service would be stead- 
able to him, and therefore in wisdom did thus oblige the 
whole country, and engage them to assist him in his war with 
England; and so they did, as now, and so often hereafter both 
within the Isle and in France, neither could they ever be di- 
verted by any loss or damage whatsoever: they did still cleave 
fast unto the French, until they were fully freed from the 
English, sending over army after army, and captain after cap- 
tain, without wearying or relenting, or the least shrinking; 
and even after this battle we read of divers that spent their 
lives in the French's quarrel against the English, and that 
within three years, notwithstanding this great loss, who were 
men of quality, such as William Stewart and his brother, and 
two Douglases who were predecessors of the houses of Drum- 
Janrig and Lcchleven. There was also amongst those that 
escaped at this battle of Vernoil, one John Carmichael of the 
house of Carmichael in Douglasdale, who was chaplain to the 
Duke of Touraine, a valiant and learned man, who remained 
in France, and was his worth and good parts made bishop of 
Orleans; he it was, that, during the siege thereof, did notably 


assist Joan d' Arc, called the Maiden of Orleans. The French 
history calleth him Jean de Saint Michael, (for Carmichael) 
cvesque de Orleans, Escossis de nation; he is mentioned in 
the particular story of that maiden, and in the Annalcs cc. 
clesice Aureliansis, Auotore Carolo Sausseyo Aureliano; 
wherefore in the principal church in Orleans, called Saint 
Croix, there is mass said for the souls of the Scots daily that 
were slain there. But to return: 

The Duke of Touraine being thus slain, was buried in the 
church of fours, called Saint Gratian'i, the '20th of August, 
in the year 1424-, whose coat of arms was to be seen not long 
ago upon the gates of Tours. He was a man no where brand- 
ed with any vice, and of unquestioned valour, for so much as 
belonged to his own person, equal to any that were before 
him; neither can I see any evident fault in his conduct and 
leading: it is true, Major taxeth him as unskilful and unfit for 
matters of war, though he gives him a large commendation of 
courage and personal valour; but he seemeth to have ground- 
ed his censure more upon the success than upon his actions, to 
which we will answer with the poet, Caveat successions opto % 
Quis quis ab cventu, §c. or if that will not serve, we will choke 
him with the French proverb, le clcrc aux amies, he is not a 
fit judge of such things. But we have to do with one more ju- 
dicious indeed, who glanceth at him no less, for speaking of 
his father Archibald the Grim, he saith that chivalry stood 
in him, as though he wouh'. have said, it fell also with himi 
which seemeth to prejudge this his son Tine-man, if not in 
his valour, which no man can call in question, yet in his con- 
duct and leading, which is the chief property and quality of a 
general and commander; of which judgement questionless the 
ground is the same, his hard success in his enterprizes; and 
there is no reason that he should be thought so of for it, if 
there be no other cause of evil success; but if there may b,e 
some other reason, and if many well guided armies and en- 
terprizes have miscarried, which none will deny, there is no 
necessity nor just cause why he should be double burdened 
both with ill luck and the blame of it, unless it be showed 



where and how he erred, which neither he new any other 
historian doth: we must therefore absolve him, as free from 
this imputation, seeing they do not make it appear, that he 
was guilty of any error or oversight either at Homildon, 
Shrewsbury, or Vernoil; on the contrary, his wariness and cir- 
cumspection may sufikiently appear to the attentive and ju- 
dicious reader: let not then his praise be lessened, or his glo- 
ry eclipsed by his cross fortune, nor himself esteemed any 
whit inferior to his predecessors; nay he deserveth to have so 
much more praise, as that his worth doth shine through the 
thick cloud of the frownings of fortune, whereas their glory 
is increased and lustred with the beams of a prosperous issue 
in their exploits. 

Archibaldus Duglassius Dux Turoncnsis et Johannes Stuart u? 
Buchanicc Comes ad Vernolium cccsi. 

Gallia vos titulis; vos Gallica regna tropecis 

Auxistis, mentis utraaue regna cluunt, 
Tertia si invideant quid mirum? ingentia damna 

Queis data, Saxonidum dum cecidere duces. 
Desine lingua procax verbis incessere: testis 

Gallus adhuc, servat tot monumenta ducum. 
Et vos ceternum memorabit Gallia cives 

Grata suos y titulos qua; dedit, et iumulos. 

Archibald Douglas Dtfke of Touraine, and John Stewart Earl 
of Buchan his son-in-law, constable of France, killed at 

France gave you titles, you it trophies gave; 
Both kingdoms mutual obligation have; 
If the third envied it: their loss receiv'd 
Might well excuse them, being oft bereav'd 
Of their most ancient leaders; no bold tongue, 
By base detraction, can havo power to wrong 
Your merit, and the French will witness bear, 
To whom your memory shall still be dear: 
Their grateful monuments the same express/ 
As do the places you do there possess, 


Archibaldus Dux Turonensis, &c. 
Bis rictus, captusqtte amisso militc; casus 

Dcniquc cum sociis, Vernolice occubui: 
Dura meis raro qffuhit victoria signis: 

Nostra tamen nusquam sunt data terga Jugce. 
Semper at ingentes hece dextra reliquit acervos, 

Hostibus et semper maxima damna dedit. 
Uinc fortis inctgnique ducis veracibus ornant 

Me titulis; nee non hostis et ipse colit. 
In me virtutem videos, verumque laborem: 

Fortunam proprio quis regat arbitrio? 
Discito, ab eventu qui censes facta virosque, 

Exemplo, non sic esse notanda, meo» 

Archibald Tine-man Duke of Touraine. 

Twice with my army's rout I lost the field; 
Now, with my friends, I am at Vernoil kill d; 
My labours hardly met with victory, 
Yet did I never stay behind, nor flie, 
But kill'd my foes on heaps: my valiant arm 
Did ever bring revenge, and equal harm. 
Hence was I honoured, as most lit to be 
A leader, courted ev'n by th' enemy, 
In me you may the height of worth behold; 
But ah, who in his power can fortune hold? 
. O! you, who from th' event your censure take, 
Disprove yourselves, and me the instance make. 

Of Archibald the Fourth of that Name, the Four- 
ieenth Lord, and F'fth Earl of Douglas, he was 
the First Earl of Wigton, Lord of Both-well, Gallo- 
way and Annandale, the Second Duke of Touraine, 
Lord of Longueville, and Marshal of France. 

U NTO Archibald Tine-man succeeded his eldest son Ar- 
chibald : he had to wife Mauld Lindsay, daughter to David 


Earl of Crawford. He was married at Dundee with great 
solemnity and pomp. This alliance hath been the occasion 
of Crawford's going with him into France, as we told before, 
and the ground of that friendship that was betwixt Earl Wil- 
liam, slain at Stirling, and that Earl Crawford, whereof we 
shall hear more hereafter. It appeareth also, that there hath 
been continual friendship betwixt these houses from the first 
Earl Douglas's time, who procured a pardon for Crawford, 
who had slain John Lyon. His children were William, Da- 
vid, and a daughter named Beatrix. The time that he pos- 
sessed the Earldom of Douglas, from his father's death in the 
year 1424, until the year 1439, is fifteen years; all the time 
of King James I. and about two years in the minority of King 
James II. So that the estate of the country may easily be 
known, if we call to mind what hath been said of the death 
of King Robert III. and of Robert the governor, to whom his 
son Murdoch did succeed in the government, before the King 
came home out of England. 

This Murdoch, when he had governed, or rather misgov- 
erned some three years or four, being provoked by an inso- 
lent fact of his eldest son Walter, who to despite his father, 
had wrung off" the neck of a hawk which he loved, determin- 
ed in revenge hereof, to send and fetch home the King out 
of England, and to possess him of his kingdom. 

' No other motive we read of to induce him to this; whe- 
ther it be because there were no other, or because they have 
not been careful to set down the true cause, I know not. But 
if this were indeed, it is so memorable, that it deserveth not to 
be passed over with a dry foot, as we say, and without obser- 
vation: for who can but wonder at so rare a fact betwixt a 
father and a son, as the like is not extant elsewhere in any 
record or history, and hath not been heard of, I think, since 
the world stood, that a man to spite his son, should quite a 
kingdom, whereof he was possest,and saw no other appearance 
but to enjoy it still. I confess there hath been much unna- 
tural unkindness in the world, whereby they have procured 
the death and destruction of those, whose safety they were 



tied by the bonds of nature to maintain: but that hath been 
for their own honour and dignity, to obtain the place, or con- 
tinue in it, which men-do so much aspire unto: but that their 
unnatural despite should reach so far, as to undo themselves, 
and to quit a kingdom, for obtaining and retaining whereof 
ambitious men turn the world upside down, only to satisfy a 
passionate humour, or malice conceived against their own 
child; let him that can parallel it, and put this up in his note- 
book for a second instance at least. It was for love of his 
cousin, for respect to equity, out of duty to God, and love of 
his country, which he saw he himself could not, and his son 
would not govern rightly; and therefore thought fittest to re- 
sign it to him that both could and would do it. But then 
our writers do him wrong, that never signify that such was his 
mind, no not in the least word, and mention only his own an- 
ger, and the instigation of Colin Campbell, a chief man in^Ar- 
gyle, who blew the coal, out of a private spleen against Walter, 
who had done him some injury: but however it were, whether 
his spite moved him to do justice, or desire to do justice caus- 
ed despite, he threatened to do it to his son, and performed 
what he threatened; for he sent ambassadors into England to 
have the King released, of which this Archibald was chief, a- 
bout the time of his very first coming to the Earldom. He, 
with his two colleagues, William Hay constable, and Henry 
bishop of Aberdeen, carried the matter so wisely, that they 
brought it to a conclusion, which was the more easily effect- 
ed; because King James married a lady of England without 
portion, which they thought would move him to forget any 
wrong he had received by their unjust detention. The am- 
bassadors also condescended on a ransom to be paid, though 
none were due from him, who never was lawful prisoner. So 
at last he was released, came home, and was crowned King; 
the22d of May, 14-24. 

We have heard hitherto the rise of the house of Douglas, 
and the continual increasing thereof by their great desert?, 
with the approbation and applause of all men, with the good- 
will and liking of their princes for the space of many years; 


their princes delighting to employ them, and they endeav- 
ouring to serve their princes and their country to the utter- 
most of their power, with a good harmony, and happy a- 
greeing on all sides. Let us now be contented from hence- 
forth, to find the world to be the self same still, that is, roll- 
ing and tumbling by perpetual vicissitudes and changes: for 
though this house shall slill grow up, and to a higher pitch 
than ever; yet this concordance shall not continue so full, 
but shall begin to have some jarring, their princes being 
jealous of them, they standing in fear of their princes, some- 
times in favour, sometimes out of favour; sometimes em- 
ployed, and sometimes negiected; having men's affections 
sometimes towards them, sometimes averse from them, lik- 
ing and disliking by turns and fits. 

They also for their parts were now well contented, then 
mal-contented: now dealing in affairs, then withdrawing from 
all meddling in state business, from whence did spring dis- 
cords, imprisonments, banishments, slaughters; which things 
beginning in this man's time at his committing, strangeness 
and discontents continued in the next, and proceeded in his 
son's time to his putting to death, and was transferred as her- 
editary to his successors, with many interchanging of smilings 
and frownings of fortune and court, which at last ended in 
that fearful catastrophe of the final ruin of this flourishing fa- 
mily, in the year 1483; which troubles continued the space of 
fifty-nine or sixty years, beginning at King James I's return 
into Scotland. 

Forthe very first yearof his reign, this Earl Douglas iscommit- 
ted toward, but is soon released; and then within some few 
years, was committed again. For his first commitment, there 
is no cause thereof recorded, only the time thereof doth furnish 
some matter of conjecture, together with other circumstances 
set down. As for the time, it was when Duke Murdoch and his 
sons Walter and Alexander, and their mother, and her father 
Duncan Stewart, Earl of Lennox, were committed. The 
circumstances are, that he was not alone, but with him twenty- 
four Earls and Barons were committed likewise, amongst 


whom there were some of the King's own special f riends and 
kindred, as William Earl of Angus who was the King's sister's 
son, and so Duke Murdoch's cousin. The Eirl of Douglas 
was also allied with him: for John Earl of Buchan, son to 
Robert the governor, had married Douglas's sister; and there 
had been correspondence and friendship betwixt the governor 
and Archibald the Grim, as also Archibald Tine-man, this Earl's 
father and grandfather, and Buchan and this Earl had been 
fellows in arms together in France at Bauge; as also Buchan 
and Archibald Tine-man were slain together at Vernoil: like- 
wise the Earl of March, who had been restored by Duke 
Murdoch's father, and had kept good friendship with him, 
and his son after his restitution; Robert Stewart of Roth-house, 
Stewartof Dundonald, JohnStevvart of Carden, being alsoof the 
name of Stewart, and all of some nearness of blood to Murdoch, 
as the King- himself also was. The rest, Hepburn of Hailes, 
Hay of Yester,P\.amsay of Dalhousie, Haliburton of Dirleton, 
we find to have been dependers of the houses of Douglas and 
March: and the rest also, Walter Ogilvy, Alexander Seton, 
or Gordon, Hay of Errol, Scrimgeoar constable of Dundee, 
have been friends and followers of the house of Douglas, 
as we find they did assist and accompany them in divers 
battles, and have also perhaps had some friendship with the 
Duke or his father-in-law, as commonly the nobility are alli- 
ed, and of kin one to another. Who, therefore, though 
they were willing that their lawful and rightful prince 
should enjoy his own place, would not agree so easily 
to the putting to death of those whom the King was re- 
solved to make out of the way. Now what it was that moved 
the king to this course, whether desire to be revenged of the 
cruelty of Robert the governor, their father, toward David 
Duke of Rothsay his elder brother, or for his misdemeanor 
and undutifulness towards his father Robert JIL or for his 
neglecting himself in his captivity, or for that he esteemed all 
that government of Robert and Murdoch to be an usurpation 
cf the crown, and feared the like hereafter, or even perhaps 
found such practisings to his prejudice, is uncertain, Kow- 



ever being resolved to rid himself of them, he thought it the 
safest way to make them fast, who he believed would not be 
so well contented with it as he desired. He did therefore 
commit them till he had tried their minds, and drawn thern 
to his course, or at least taken order with them to sit quiet. 
And this was not long a-doing; for we read that the foresaid 
prisoners were all shortly relieved, and some of them also put 
upon the others' jury, or assize, as Douglas, March, Angus, 
Errol: but by what means he hath constrained them torbe 
content, or what remonstrance or evidence he hath given 
them, to let them see that these men were guilty of death, or 
what crime they died for, if any new conspiracy, or what else, 
our histories tell us not, which is a great defect in them. 
Major thinketh it likely that there was some conspiracy found 
against the King, otherwise they would never, saith he, have 
condemned such men to death, princes of the blood, as we 
may call them, and their own special friends. And thus much 
of the Earl Douglas first committing, and the issue thereof. 

For the second, Hollinshed and Boetius do agree, that the 
King did arrest the Earl Douglas, and kept him long in prison; 
till at last, by the mediation of the Oueen and prelates, he 
and the Earl of Ross were released. Boetius calleih him 
Archibald Duke of Touraine plainly; but Hollinshed is pleased, 
out of some partial humour, as would seem, to suppress the 
title of Duke of Touraine; and this is all the difference be- 
twixt them. It was some years after his first committing; 
but what year is not condescended upon. Some say it was 
in the year 1431, but impertinently; for the year 14.30 is the 
year of his releasing, except that we will think, that he hath 
been imprisoned thrice which is not mentioned by any: and 
little mention there is of the cause wherefore he was 
warded, whereof Major complaineth, saying> that our 
annals tell not the cause of the Stewarts' executions, and 
the incarcerating of the Earl Douglas, and John Lord of 
Kennedy, the King's own sister's son, for both were commit- 
ted, Douglas in Lochleven, and Kennedy in Stirling; for how 
shall it be known whether it was done justly, or for nutters 


of weight, or if for trifles only, and for his own pleasure. 
Others insinuate a cause, but do but glance at it, without 
setting it down so elearlv as to let men know, whether it 
were just or unjust, which is the light and life of history, and 
the right end and use thereof: for they say no more, but that 
they had spoken sinisterly or rashly, and somewhat more 
freely than became them, of the estate and government of the 
c ountry. What use can any man make ol this generality. Rash- 
ness may be a fault, yet perhaps none at all in them of whom 
it is spoken, they being privy counsellors. Likewise the 
phrase Freelier than became, is so general, that the reader 
remaineth unsatisfied: neither can posterity, (either King or 
subject) judge of this fact, Whether it were right or wrong, or 
whether the example were such as men ought to foliow, or 
forbear and avoid. 

It should have been expressly set down what they spoke, to 
whom, if to the King himself, or to others: in what sort, if 
by way of admonition, counselling, or advising, or if by 
form of cavilling, detracting, murmuring, mutinying, and 
such other circumstances, whereon the judging of it chiefly 
dependeth. In this uncertainty we can hardly condemn or 
absolve, praise or censure them, in that the Lord Kennedy 
was of the same mind, and category with the Earl Douglas, 
apparently it hath not been spoken in malice, seeing the 
King's nearest and his best friends, such as these Kennedies 
were, having approved thereof. And that noblemen must 
not speak their opinion freely of things to the King, or of 
the King, being without malice, is very hard: for how shall a 
King know that will not hear? He cannot know all by him- 
self: and how shall he hear, if noblemen have not leave to 
speak freely: he cannot hear all by himself. 

Such carriage as this hath often done princes ill, and it 
may be, hath done this same prince no good. And whatever 
it was that displeased the Earl Douglas in the government, 
was either for the country's sake or the King's own sake, or 
for both. Why might not the King think there might he 
errors? And why might he not then have heard them? To 


have proceeded so vehemently (for there hath been great ve- 
hemency in it) to have cut off his own kinsmen, and to leave 
none but himself for the Earl of Athol to aim at: it was most 
important, and worthy to be considered of, whether or not 
it were best for him, in policy, to do. Doubtless his doing 
of it hath emboldened Athol to cut off the King himself, 
when all the rest were cut off first by the King. And was it 
nothing to lose the nobility, to alienate their hearts? to irri- 
tate them by imprisonments and forfeitures? hath it not done 
ill, think ycu, and encouraged him to go on in his intended 
treason, looking for the favour of the offended nobility, or 
for neutrality and slackness to revenge the King's death? We 
see the King himself retreateth his taxations once or twice, 
when he saw the people grieved therewith. And wisely, in 
that he was careful to keep the hearts of the people. But 
was there no care to be taken for keeping the nobility also 
ungrieved? Was it enough that they would not, or durst not 
perhaps, or could not openly rebel? Was it not something to 
want their affections? To want the edge and earnestness there- 
of, to relent and cool them? Certainly such proceedings as 
these have encouraged his enemies, in hope of impunity, great- 
er than they found, yet in hope of it, to go on with their de- 
signs, and hath furthered and hastened that dolorous conclu- 
sion which ensued. 

Whatever the cause were, he acknowledged the Earl Dou- 
glas's mind not to have been of the worst sort, in that he re- 
leaseth him, and in token of a full reconcilement, makes 
him a witness to the baptism of his two sons, twins, which 
was in those days no small honour, and signification of good- 
will, and a pledge of intimate friendship. He made also his 
son William, though tut a child of five years of age, the first 
knight of fifty, who were dubbed at that solemnity, as the 
manuscript affirmeth. By which actions, as he honoured Dou- 
glas, so did he withal honour himself in the eyes of the peo- 
ple, and of foreigners, gracing his court, and that so solemn 
action by the presence of such a peer, far more than if he had 
been only accompanied by Crichtonand Livingston, and such 


new men, who were but new and mean, in regard of him, as 
then but growing under the King's favour. And so it is 
indeed, the prince honoureth his worthy nobles by his favours 
to them, and they grace, adorn, and decore, and give a lustre 
and splendour to him and his court, by their presence and at- 
tendance thereat. And it is wisdom so to esteem, and so to 
use them; and happy are they on both sides, and happy is the 
country where they thus ?gree and concur. This was he, in 
the year 1430, in October, released out of prison; and this 
solemnity being ended, he passed into France, and was instal- 
led in his dutchy of Touraine: whether he went thither for 
that end only, or if he used that fairest colour of his absence, 
that he might not see the government which he disliked, and 
in which he had no employment, I leave it; yet his going thi- 
ther gave others occasion to grow great, and to be employed, 
especially the house of Angus, which was at last the overthrow 
of his house; so as the honour and profit they had in France, 
may have been said to have been the wreck in Scotland, what 
by the envy of their greatness, what by their absence "from 
home, as hath been said: so uncertain are the 2fFairs of the 
world! Neither is there extant any mention of his actions in 
France, though at that time, from the year 1430, till 1437, the 
wars were very hot there, King Henry VT. of England being 
brought over in person, and crowned in Paris. It is attribut- 
ed to the Earl Douglas, that he moved the King of France 
to require King James's daughter Margaret in marriage to his 
son, afterwards Lewis XI. and that he met her when she land- 
ed at Rochel, and was present at her marriage. 

He remaineth there until the year 1437, in which the 2 1st 
February, King James was slain at the Blackfriars in St. John- 
ston, (Perth) by Patrick Graham and Robert Stewart,* at the 
instigation of" Walter Stewart Earl of Athol, the King's fath- 
er's brother by the Earl cf Ross's daughter, who pretended to 
be the rightful heir to the crown, and that he was wronged 
'and defrauded by the son of Elizabeth Moor, who was only a 
concubine, as he alleged. 

This posterity of Elizabeth Moor he had craftily caused to 


destroy one another; the governor Robert to destroy Davi.l 
Duke of Rothsay, and now King James, David's brother, to 
destroy the house of the governor Duke Murdoch and his 
children. And thus causing the King to spoil and weaken 
himself* by cutting off his friends, none being left alive, but 
the King and his only son, a child of six years, he was em- 
boldened to put his hands on the King also; so much the 
rather, because he knew that many of the nobility were dis- 
contented, what with being imprisoned, what with being en- 
damaged in their goods, lands, and rents, what with putting 
to death of their friends: so that he hoped that they would be 
well contented with the King's death, at least they would not 
take great care or pains to be revenged thereof. Which things 
if the Earl Douglas foresaw, and being grieved therewith, ad- 
monished the King thereof, or caused any other to warn him 
that these courses were not for his good: this event showeth 
he did the part of a faithful subject, friend and counsellor. 
However, it was not so well taken by the King at that time, 
as being contrary to his humour and present disposition. He 
did wisely also to withdraw himself, seeing he could not help 
things, as he would have gladly done. Now that the King 
was dead, he returns home, and was present, as some think, 
at the coronation of his son James II. who was crowned at 
Edinburgh the 10th of March 14-37, not a month, or no more 
than a month, after the death of his father: where it is to be 
observed, that either the death of the King is not rightly said 
to be in the year 1437, in February, instead of H3a, or else 
they reckon the year from the first of January, which was 
not the custom then. And yet Buchanan means so, for he 
says, he was slain in the beginning of the year 1437, in Peb- 
ruary,^rhich makes me think the Earl Douglas hath not come 
in time to the coronation, seeing he could hardly have used 
such diligence, to have had notice of the King's death, made 
himself ready, and came home out of France in so short a 
space, though the wind had favoured him never so much 
However, through his absence, his adverse party and faction 
had got such possession of guiding state affairs in the !a f ?> 


King's tifAsf and had so handled the matter, that he was no 
whit regarded, nor was there any account made of hin. He 
was not admitted to the managing of any business of the com- 
monwealth, or any public place or oflice therein} Ciichton 
and Livingston, the one made protector or governor, the Q- 
ther chancellor, did all according to their pleasure. 

Our writers ssy, that the reason hereof was, because the no- 
bility envied the greatness of Douglas, who was suspected, 
and too much even for Kings. Kow pertinently either they 
write so, or the parliament thought so, I refer it to be judged 
by the indifferent. He was far iVontt the crown, to which he 
never pretended title, his predtcc-c ;>. 3 bad quit all pretension, 
title, claim, or interest thereto, Li the time of King Robert II. 
he that did claim it, and gave over, and all his posterity after 
him, had ever behaved themselves modestly, they had submit- 
ted themselves to al! government, even to be ruled by them 
who were but governors only (Robert and Muidcch) and not 
Kings, as obediently in every thing,. as any of the meanest of 
the nobility, and had never given occasion of any suspicion to 
any man, nor taken upon them any thing beyond or above 
the rest, unless it were they took greater pains in defence of 
the liberty of the country, in which they spent their lives un- 
der their Kings. And this same man, in the late King's time 
had behaved himself most humbly, going to prison once or 
twice, and obeying his sovereign in all things, without the least 
show of discontentedness, far le?s of opposition. So that what- 
ever hard opinion either the King had taken of him, or any 
man had put into the King's head, hath been without his de- 
serving; who if he had been that way disposed, how easily 
might he have troubled the governor and the whole country? 
But suppose they did suspect, and were jealous of his great- 
ness, though without a cause, what moved them to neglect 
and pass by the rest of the ancient nobility? Was there none 
of them fit for those places? Where was the Earl of March, a 
valiant man, and of an ancient stock? Where was the Earl of 
Angus, the Earl of Cavils, and divers others? They will say, 
that Crichton and Livingston were wise men; but were they 

203 history or THE 

the only wise men? Were there no more wise men in the 
country? Then if they were wise, were they good also? were 
they just? were they sober, modest, and moderate? For with- 
out these virtues, their wisdom was not good, but dangerous, 
and even ill; chiefly when it is joined with power, and is in 
authority. And I pray you, what hath their wisdom been? 
or wherein did they show it under the late King? they tell 
not; and I believe, if it be tried, it shall be found that which 
made him to have so short a life, that gave occasion to his 
enemies to take courage against him, was their seeking of their 
own particular advancement, with offence, and vexing of the 
nobility, without regarding the King's good, or the good of 
the country: and it must needs be so, if it were the same wis- 
dom they show now after the King's death. Therefore if we 
shall speak in right terms of that matter, we shall say that 
Alexander Livingston and William Crichton, both small 
barons only, and not of the ancient blood of the nobility, new 
men bent to seek their own profit only, without regard to any 
other duty, had misgoverned the state, and got the guiding of 
the late King, and drawn such a faction, that Douglas being 
absent in France, they had got all into their hands; Living- 
ston being made governor, and Crichton chancellor, who 
is the fir>:t chancellor that we read of in our chronicles. 

The Earl Douglas took such indignation at this, esteeming 
it disgraceful to the whole nobility, and more especially to 
himself, that finding he could not bow his heart to acknow- 
ledge such men, and yet not willing to oppose or impugn 
them who were cloathed with authority, which would move 
war and trouble in the country, he chobe, as the calmest and 
best course, to withdraw himself, and not to meddle with 
any public business, or to take any care or share in ruling tho 
country, which he left to them to whom it was committed? 
and to such as had taken it upon them: with this resolution 
he returned home to his own house, without further troub- 
ling of them. Bitt that he might keep them from infringing 
Ids liberties, and privileges granted to the House of Douglas 
of old by former Kings, for their good services, he command- 


<d such as were his to contain themselves within his regality, 
to answer to his courts, and to no other; professing pUiuly 
that he would keep his privileges, and that if any man should 
usurp or encroach upan them, he should be made sensible of 
his error. 

This was a bit cast into the teeth of the new governors, 
and did curb them very short on the south -side of Forth, he 
having large lands and lordships in those parts. And here 
their foolishness was quickiy seen, in that they would take 
upon them such authority, and the unadvisedness of those 
who had given it them who were not able to execute it, but 
by the permission of another. Hereupon also fell out great 
inconveniences; for the men of Annandale, accustomed to 
theft and robbery, seeing the Earl Douglas discontented, and 
retired, (who was the only man they stood in awe of, and was 
only able to restrain them) they began to slight and contemn 
the authority of these governors, and to molest and vex their 
neighbouring* shires with driving away preys and booty by o- 
pen force or violence, as if it had been from the enemy. This 
the governors not being able to repress, the evil increased 
daily, as a canker, so that it overspread the whole region, al- 
most on that side of Forth. 

In the mean while these jolly governors were so careful of 
the common good of the country, and the charge committed 
to them, that instead of thinking how to pacify and restrain 
those Annandians, they fall at variance each with the other, 
sending out contrary edicts and proclamations: the governor 
commanding, that none should acknowledge the chancellor, 
and the chancellor, that none should obey the governor; so that 
when any came to the one to lament his estate, and seek re- 
dress, he was used by the other as an enemy; and both pre- 
tended the King's authority. For the chancellor had the 
King in his custody in the castle of Edinburgh, and the gov- 
ernor had-the name of authority, and was in Stirling with the 
Queen-mother; at last she, under colour to visit her son, found 
means to convey him out of the castle in a chest to Stirling. 
And now the governor having got the King's person to couu - 




tenance and strengthen his authority, went with an army to 
besiege the castle of Edinburgh, where the chancellor was. 

The chancellor to make himself a party, sendeth to the 
Earl Douglas, offers to come in his will, desireth his protec- 
tion, remonstrates to him the cruelty, avarice, and ambition 
of the governor, telling him that he was deceived, if he thought 
they would go no further than to seek to extinguish him; and 
that he would make him but a step to overthrow the nobility, 
and him with the first. Douglas returned answer, «« That 
" the governor and chancellor were both alike false, covetous, 
i* and ambitious; that their contentions were not of virtue, or 
" for the good of their country, but only for their own parti- 
** cular quarrels and private commodity; in which contention 
«< there was no great matter which of them overcame; ?nd if 
« both should perish, the country were the better: neither 
'« could there be a more pleasant sight for all honest men, 
« than to see such a couple of fencers yoked together." This 
answer was so true, that none can, or doth contradict it. Their 
falsehood he hath known, and that is it which men call wis- ' 
dom in them by a fair name. It showeth itself in their deal- 
ing with this Earl's son, and appears also in their carriage one 
towards another, each striving who should deceive the o- 

Their factiousness likewise, ever when they durst for fear 
of a third, and that their contentions were but for particulars 
grounded upon ambition and avarice, without any care of the 
commonwealth, the world saw it then, and it may be~ seen as 
yet: and therefore it is most true, that the country had been 
better if it had been rid of such ambitious and avaricious gov- 
ernors, seeking nothing but themselves; and that it was not 
for any honest man to embroil himself in their so dishonest 
debates, but a pleasant show and spectacle indeed, and to be 
desired to see each of them, (though unjustly) yet to do jus- 
tice upon the other. It was a free speech also, no man can 
deny. But they say it was not wisely spoken, for it made the 
two parties agree to his prejudice, and procured to him the 
hatred of both, at least increased their hatred; for no doubt 


they hated him before, and now he might have divided them 
by joining with the chancellor. 

To this we answer, that seeing the chancellor hated him, 
he would have done nothing, but served himself of him for 
his own particular; either to have overthrown the gover- 
nor, that he might have had all the prey and benefit alone; 
or perhaps made use of his help to agree with him on better 
terms and easier conditions, as we see they did agree at last. 
It was for no common good of the country, no nor for any 
good will to the Earl: what could he do then? Why should 
he have meddled with them? They say, to have met with 
him in his own craft, and to have used the one of them to 
overthrow the other, that so both might have been overturn- 
ed. Will men never leave these things, such false tricks, 
such bastard and spurious wisdom? and shall we not think 
there is another way besides it? There is a true honest wis- 
dom that honest men may keep without falsehood, or any 
point or tincture thereof, without deceiving any, even the 
deceivers. What other answer did his request deserve? Was 
it not fit, that such crafty companions, who had abused the 
country, should hear the naked truth out of a nobleman's 
mouth? Should such a nobleman have glossed with such as 
they were, flattered and dissembled, and strook cream in their 
mouth? Nay, it is a part of punishment to wickedness, even 
to hear its own name given to ir, and it is very fit it should 
have it, so that his answer cannot be justly taxed, but com- 
mended as true, just, magnanimous, and such as became his 
place, house, and birth, without fraud or dissimulation, tailing 
(as the Macedonian did) a spade a spade, vice by its own 
name; which as he did here, so perhaps he had done before, 
when he spake of the government in the late King's tune, 
whereby it would appear that such was his natural disposition 
far from all frivolous flattery of dissimulation, either to the 
King or others. Indeed now these are crept in, and accounted 
wisdom to the prejudice of the ancient true generosity of 
these great spirits, far better, and far more worthy to be a- 
dorned with the full and due praise, than to be obliquely taxed 


and nipped by half words, as not being wisely and profitably 
enough spoken, when there can be no just blame laid upon 
them. Neither ought it to be thought unprofitably said, or 
dangerously, seeing, (cut of all question) the same courage 
and magnanimity that moved him to speak the truth, made 
him also now to despise their persons, contemn their spleen, 
and slightly account of any power they had to do him any 
harm, for all their joining together. Neither is there any ap- 
pearance but that he did it out of a right weighing of his 
own and their power, and not out of any arrogancy or idle con- 
fidence. And certainly any indifferent man can think no 
less, and that they durst not attempt any thing against hirn, 
or his successor after him, but after a most treacherous man-* 
ner as ever any was since the world stood. So that there 
W3s not any want of wisdom in this speech, nor in this same 
point of profit or harm. 

His death followed not long after, in the year 14*38 at 
Restalrig, of a burning fever: very opportunely and in a good 
time, say our writers, and so it was indeed for them, and such 
as they were, who had now better opportunity to prey upon 
the commonwealth, and spoil and use it for their best advan- 
tage. But it was unseasonably for the house of Douglas 
which was left in the hands of a youth without experience; 
and therefore uncircumspect, yea untimely for the nobility, 
who became a prey to the avarice and ambition of these two; 
and untimely for the country, in that these two were now left 
free from the fear of him they stood most in awe of, and 
who might most have repressed their attempts, andbridled 
their appetites. 

This thing only I can account worthy of reproof in him, 
that he suffered the men of Annandale to over-run the ad- 
jacent countries, and did not hinder them from wronging the 
innocent people: he should not have thought, that it did not 
belong to him to hinder them, because he was no magistrate, 
This if he had done, and kept justice within himself, it would 
have gotten him both favour and honour, and might have 
brought contempt upon the governors that could not keep 


peace in a more tractable and pcacable country, nor amongst 
themselves; for how excellent a thing is it by good means 
to seek honour. It would have taken away the occasion of 
the calumnies of his enemies who yet did much worse them- 
selves: he was otherwise a valiant wise man, a lover of .his 
country, and of a free, plain, good and generous nature; his 
generous disposition appeareth in his brave demeanour towards 
the Lord Kennedy. ' There being something wherein the 
Lord Kennedy had wronged and offended him, he conceiv- 
ed such high indignation thereat, that he published his desire 
of revenge to be such, that whosoever would bring the Lord 
Kennedy's head, should have the lands of Stewarton: this offer 
proceeding from so powerful a man, and known to be a man 
that would keep his promise; the Lord ( Kennedy hearing of 
it, (fearing he could hardly long escape his hands) resolved, by 
way of prevention, to be himself the presenter of his own head 
unto him; and accordingly, keeping his own intention to him» 
self, he came privately to Wigton, where finding the Earl Dou- 
glas at his devotion in St. Ninian's Church, a place famous in 
those days for the frequent resort of pilgrims thither, im- 
mediately after divine service offered his head to the Earl, as 
one who had deserved the promised reward, and did crave it 3 
The Earl seeing the resolution and confident assurance of the 
man, who had put himself in his power and mercy, forgave 
him all his former faults, made him his friend, and withal 
gave him the reward he had promised, disponing to him and 
his heirs the lands of Stewarton, which his successors the Earls 
of Cassils do peaceably enjoy to this day. 

He was buried in the church of Doughs, called St. Bride's 
Church, with this inscription: 

Hie jacet Doininm Arcliilaldus Douglas, Dux Turonicp, Comes de 
Douglas et Longueville, TjoriniiS Gallovidice, ct fFigton, ei 
Annandice, Locum tenens Regis Scotia?. Qbiit 26. djif Men- 
sis Junii) Anno Domini miilesimo q:iadringentesimo iricesima 


Of William slain in Edinburgh castle, llie Sixth Wil- 
liam, the Sixth Earl of Douglas, and third Duke 
of Touraine, §c, 

*-^NTO Archibald Earl of Wigton succeeded his son Wil- 
liam, a youth of no great age, of an high spirit, and of a sweet 
tractable and meek disposition: and therefore we cannot but 
detest and execrate the wickedness and treachery of his ene- 
mies, who did so unworthily cut off such a sprig in the very 
budding; from whose blossoms none could but have expected 
passing good fruit, to the great good of the commonwealth and 
kingdom, if malice and envy had suffered it to come to ma- 
turity. Let us notwithstanding rest contented with his change, 
begun in his father by warding, and displacing from the room 
of his predecessors from managing of affairs in the kingdom, 
prosecuted against him in his lifetime, and now followed forth 
against his son. This vicissitude which befel this house is to 
be found and seen in all human affairs, and doth overturn all 
due and right order in the world, as far as men can judge: for 
innocency is often overthrown by cruelty; honesty ai;d up- 
righteousness of heart by craft, falsehood, and treachery; and 
yet let us reverence the sovereign cause and over-ruler of all 
things who in this disorder directeth all things certainly by a 
great wisdom, and with good order doubtless, though un- 
searchable by man. But as nothing hath ever been so enor- 
mous, which may not receive some colour, either of virtue to, 
make it seem good, or at least of some extenuatiyn to, make 
it seem not so ill at it is; so this fact amongst others I perceive 
to be of the same kind: by some thought to be good, but very 
igoorantly or maliciously, by some excusable, both in form 
and in fact, by a necessity, or pretext of the common good; 
by all that have written, more slend'-rly handled, and doubt - 
ingly, than ought to be. For they leave it almost uncertain 
what ought to be judged of it, whether it be good or ill: so 
that sometimes you would think they condemn it, sometimes 


ihey allow of it, and none of them deals with it so fully, as 
reason would they should do for the information of posterity 
and according to the right law of an history* but as men do 
with nettles which they would grip, they are afraid to handle 
them heartily and hardly. 

Now that this so base a fact may the better appear in its 
own colours, I will labour to wash away the painting and plaist- 
er wherewith the authors would so fain, but falsely, overlay 
it; or wherewith men's judgements, whereof many are but half 
wise, and perceive but the half of matters, not plumbing and 
sounding the depth and grounds of thing so well as were need- 
ful, may be deceived by others, or may fancy to themselve 3 
for excusing of it, that we may learn to detest and abhor so 
detesiible and horrible facts with a true detestation and abhor- 
ring in earnest and effect, that posterity may know and con- 
demn, and avoid the like practices. 

And for this purpose, before we come to the narration 
of the fact itself, we will speak something of the authors 
thereof, Livingston and Crichton, and their actions in the last 
Earl Douglas's time. 

We heard before, and we must not forget it, how well these 
men guided the country, what care they took of the common- 
wealth; or to say better, how little care they took of it; how 
they cared for nothing save their own particular good, under 
colour of the commonwealth; each striving to disgrace the other 
by their private speeches and open proclamations: so greedy 
and ambitious they were, that howbeit they had all the country 
between them, yet it could not satisfy or content them; they 
could not so much as agree between themselves, to divide the 
spoil and part the booty peaceably and quietly, which thieve?, 
robbers and pirates are wont to do without discord or injus- 
tice. But they had not so much modesty, but fell at variance; 
spoiling, fighting and besieging one another, till remember- 
ing themselves that a third might come and the bono 
from both, they were so wise as to agree for fear of him, I 
mean the Earl Douglas. And that they did so, more in that 
regard, than for any good to their country, or love they bors 


one to another, it soon appeared after his death: for incontin* 
ent thereupon, they returned to their old bias, and the agree- 
ment that was made for fear of him lasted no longer than he 
lived. Wherefore Livingston being governor, and having 
the King also in his custody, being freed from the fear of 
the Earl Douglas, respected the chancellor Crichton no long- 
er, but began to despise him; and thinking now there was no 
band to bind him any longer to him, he would give him no 
share of his booty and spoil of the country, but would needs 
keep all to himself. This was his ambition or avarice, or both; 
for ambition would be alone in all, and likes no equal, no 
fellowship, no copartner. And avarice might also have 
moved him to this; for guiding all, he might take all: and if 
he made the other partaker of the guiding, he behoved to make 
him partaker of the gain; and therefore he would have none 
of his assistance in the government. But let us see now how 
well he governed; he imprisoneth the nobles at his pleasure, 
upon light grounds of suspicion only, yea he casteth them in- 
to fetters. 

The 3d of August 1439, he warded the Lord Lome and his 
brother Sir James Stewart, who had married the Oueen-mo- 
ther, upon suspicion only for their dealing with the Earl Dou- 
glas, and did commit the Queen herself to be kept in a close 
chamber in Stirling castle, of which he himself was captain; 
so that she could not get herself released, until there was 
kept a convention of the Lords, then by the intercession of 
the chancellor and some other, she was dismissed, having giv- 
en Sir Alexander Gordon, alias Seton, who was the first Earl 
of Huntly, surety and cautioner for her, that she should pay 
4000 merks to the governor. This was his iniquity, yea ty- 
ranny, and barbarous abusing of noblemen, and yet he gave 
remissions, and pardoned men guilty of great crimes, or passed 
them over by conniving. 

The chancellor, therefore, who thought he should have his 
share of the booty, seeing himself thus dis-placed by the gov- 
ernor, and not being able to help it, nor to have patience, and 
sit quiet, it being more than he could digest or bear with, 


retired him from court to Edinburgh castle, there to be safe 
in his fort, and lie in wait for the first opportunity that he 
could find to supplant Livingston. Neither was he long in 
over-reaching him; for before the year was ended, he took 
occasion of the governor's going to Perth, and knowing by 
intelligence the time and place of the King's hunting in the 
fields about Stirling, thither he rides, and bringeth him away 
to Edinburgh castle. By this means the dice are changed; he 
had now got the durk, as our proverb goes, he will divide the 
prey over again; he will have his large share of all, and direct 
all now, as Livingston had done before. The other finding 
himself in this strait, might lament his case, but could not 
help himself: necessity hath no law. The chancellor had yield- 
ed to him before, when he, or the Queen for him, stole away 
the King. Now he hath got a meeting; he must yield to him 
again, and so he doth: bows his bony heart, goes to Edinburgh, 
gets mediators, brings on a meeting, and finally agrees, by the 
mediation of Henry Leighton bishop of Aberdeen, and John 
Innes bishop of Murray. 

But if you would see the right face of a stage play, deceiv- 
ers, deceiving, dissembling, and putting a fair outside on their 
foul falsehood and proceeding; read me their harangues on both 
sides, that you may either laugh, or disdain them. I cannot 
take leisure to set them down at length, as they are to be 
found in our histories; but in a word, you shall find nothing 
but pretexts of the commonwealth, of the public peace, the 
good of the King, and the well-being of all honest men, 
which is all joined, and depends upon them and their well- 
being forsooth. That hath been still their scope, that hath 
been the aim of all their intentions, no particular, no. ambi- 
tion, no avarice; only love of those things which were com- 
mon and profitable unto all: and because in them all did lie and 
subsist; in their standing honest men did stand, and by their 
ruin honest men did fall; nay, the King and country were 
ruined. For this cause, and for no other, that the country 
might be well, that wickedness may be bridled, they forgive 
one another, avouching that their discords arose only from di- 



versity of opih'dnj aha judgement; while though both were 
pursuing the common good, the one thought one form the 
properest for obtaining it, and the other another form: which 
if it were true, let what hath been said above bear witness. 
It would make a man to loatli speaking virtuously, to see vir- 
tue by them so far abused; yet the old proverb might have • 
■warned them, Oporiet mcndaccvi esse memorcm.- and some- 
times that a liar will speak the truth, is verified in them. 
They confess their ambition, and striving for honour and pre- 
eminence, they are ashamed to say for goods. and riches; but 
it was no less true, and both were alike faulty, and they ex- 
hort one another, and promise to amend thereafter by a bet- 
ter strife, who should be most moderate and just. But they 
were as true in keeping that promise as they were in their 
discourse what was past. When the fox prcacheih talce heed 
of the hens, saith the proverb: we shall see notable modera- 
tion and justice, such as the world had scarce seen the like ex- 
ample of treacherous tyranny. 

This is the sum of these jolly men's harangues. The con- 
clusion is a new friendship, if falsehood be friendship; or 
rather a conspiracy against the country, and directly against 
the noblemen, who (their conscience telleth them) hate them 
as new men, lifted up to the highest degree, as they grant 
themselves; and that was reproach enough to the nobility, and 
an argument of their unworthiness. But they might have 
said as truly, that they were hated for abusing the King and 
country, for their private advantage, under pretext of the com- 
monwealth, which whether the whole nobility resented or 
not, we cannot tell; for there is no mention, and it is a won- 
der if they did not, yet it would seem they did not: they had 
stooped and taken on an unworthy yoke of slavery. But 
whatever the rest did, there was one that was a sore thorn iiu 
their foot, and mote in their eye, it behoved to be pluck- 
ed out. 

The Earl of Douglas was of the old spirit of the ancient 
nobility; he Could not serve nor obey but whom he ought, 
and the lawful commanders, lawfully commanding for his 


honour and utility, whereof they were neither. Such a spirit 
is unsufferable, under these new conspiring tyrants: he will 
not acknowledge their authority: his father had told them, 
their holy-day's name, himself took them for his enemies. 
But how shall they do with him? He is not easy to be dealt 
with; they must have mufHes that would catch such a car. 
Indeed he behaved himself as one that thought he would not 
be in danger of them; he entertained a great family; he rode e- ' 
ver well accompanied when he came in public; 1000 or 2000 
horse were his ordinary train. He had great friendship and 
dependence of old; he had been careful to keep them, and 
had also increased them, and conciliated many new followers 
and clients by his beneficence and liberality, and his magnifi- 
cence, which was answerable to his place, suitable for an Earl 
of Douglas and Duke of Tourainej which dutchy he had ob- 
tained himself to be invested in as heir to his father; having 
sent Malcolm Lord Fleming, and Sir John Lavvder of Bass 
(or Hatton, as others say) into France, for that purpose; and 
was well accepted of in remembrance of his father and grand- 
father: he had all his affairs in singular good order: he had 
his ordinary council and counsellors for guiding his affairs. 
He dubbed knights also, as he thought men worthy; which 
power and privilege he did not usurp out of pride, nor take 
upon him by imitation to counterfeit Kings, as some would 
insinuate, but by virtue of both his dignities of Duke and 
Earl: and although he was but fourteen years of age at his 
father's death, in the year 1138 or 39, and was put to death 
in the year 114-0, not having attained to fifteen or sixteen, or 
little above at the farthest; yet in this his port and behaviour 
did not only appear the sparks of a great spirit, but also of 
such wisdom and prudence, as could scarce be looked for from 
io young a man. This galled them so much the more to 
think, if that fruit should come to ripeness at any time, how 
poisonable, or rather how great a counter-poison it would 
prove to their greatness. But here the skin of the lion would 
not serve their turn; he was too hard for them to deal with 
by force, they do therefore put on that of the fox. 



The occasion fell out thus, during the time of the jars be- 
twixt themselves, the common affairs were neglected between 
stools, and partly because they could not, being but mean men 
of small power, partly because they cared not to prevent or 
amend things, many insolencies were committed without re- 
dress. The men of the isles had come into the main land, 
had put all to fire and sword, men, women, and children, 
young and old, far and wide, omitting no kind of example of 
avarice and cruelty; and that not only on the sea-coast, but 
in the Lennox also, out of the isle of Lochlomond, called 
Inch-martin, they had made an appointment with a gentle- 
man named John Colquhoun, laird of Luss, as if it had been 
to end some business, and slew him, the 23d of September, 
with many such things, and many foul facts had been done 
an divers parts of the country. Likewise Sir Allan Stewart 
of Darnley was slain at Paisley, by Sir Thomas Boyd; and a- 
gain, Sir Thomas Boyd was slain by Alexander Stewart of Bel- 
xnot, brother to the aforesaid Sir Allan, and his sons, through 
which there arose great troubles in the west parts of the coun- 
try and kingdom. The borderers had not been idle, who 
living under the Earl Douglas, and being his followers or re- 
tainers, what they did was interpreted to be done by his al- 
lowance. And at a convention in Edinburgh, many com- 
plaints were given in against him, but never a word spoken of 
the fact of the islanders, never a word of Livingston and 
Crichfcon's own doings, who had warred one upon another, 
not a word of any slaughter or bloodshed, but as though no- 
thing were amiss in the country, but what was done by the 
Earl Douglas's dependers; they only were complained of. 
Whether the cause was in his enemies, and that this proced- 
<ed from them, or was done by their instigation, our histories 
tell not, neither can we affirm it: yet it is strange, that there 
being so many more, and more enormous faults, (for the isle- 
men's were more heinous) none should be taken notice of but 
his men's. Theirs are exaggerated, multiplied, and made o- 
diou'-; and the envy thereof derived upon the Earl as author 
of all: hereupon Sir Alexander Livingston, carrying malice ip 

House of douglas: 221 

his heart, but dissembling it for a time, with a false dece it- 
ful mind, persuaded the rest, that the Earl Douglas was ra- 
ther a man to be dealt with by fair means, than to be irritat- 
ed by suspicions, as one who had such power, that if he should 
oppose himself, he might frustrate all their conclusions and 
decrees. Wherefore he procured a letter to be written to 
him in an honourable manner in all their names, entreating 
him, that being mindful of his place; mindful of his progen- 
itors, whose good deeds and deservings, most ample and no- 
table towards his country of Scotland, were still extant, he 
would come to the convention of the states, which could not 
be conveniently kept without him and his friends. If he had 
taken offence at any thing, they would satisfy him so far as 
was possible; if there were any oversight committed by him, 
or any of his friends, they would remit it, and would forgive 
many things to his most noble house which had done so many 
good offices, and so much good service to his country; they 
would impute many things to the times, and consider his 
youth and the great hope and expectation they had of him; 
that he should come therefore, and take what part of the af- 
fairs of the commonwealth he best pleased; and as his ances- 
tors had often delivered the realm from dangers of wars by 
their arms and victories; so that he would be pleased now by 
his presence to raise it, and establish it, almost sunk and o- 
verthrown with intestine discords., 

This letter, as it was honest in words, and very right, 
carrying that right course that should have been used towards 
him, and the duty, that all these reasons contained, craved to 
have been done to him, if it had been in sincerity: so being 
in falsehood, and with a treacherous intention, used only to 
ihtrap him, makes their dittay the clearer; for he out of the 
honesty of his own heart, interpreting their meaning to be 
according to their words, and being of no ill disposition, but 
of a sweet and tractable nature, desirous of glory by good 
means, that so he might have followed the footsteps of his 
predecessors in all good offices to his country, not having so 
great malice in his mind, and therefore, not thinking any 


could have so great in theirs against him, as to seek his life; 
for there had been no such occasion, their contentions with 
his father had not come to that height and degree, but had 
been contained within the bounds of words only, and therefore 
not imagining that so great villany could have been harboured 
in their hearts, he willingly embraces the occasion of making 
peace in the country, and that he might contribute thereto his 
best endeavours, taketh his journey for Edinburgh, his friends 
are reported to have furthered him in this resolution, in hope of 
their own particular employments and preferments, which, 
say they, blinded their eyes that they saw not the danger, but 
truly I cannot see how they could have seen any peril, unless 
we will say that they might have known that the governor 
and chancellor were treacherous men, and had given some 
proof of as great disloyalty before, which is not mentioned 
any where that we know of; for though they were known to 
be subject and inclinable to falsehood, as his father had object- 
ed to them before, yet it was so well covered, that it was not 
acccunted faishood, but wisdom: for there are degrees; and 
there be many who will dispense with themselves to step 
something aside from the strict rule of uprightness, which is 
accounted simplicity, that will be ashamed of so high a de- 
gree of manifest treason as this was: so that howbeit they 
knew their falsehood in some measure, yet could they not have 
looked for such treacherous dealing: besides it might have 
seemed to any man in discourse of reason, that if they cared 
not to blot their names with the foulness of the fact, yet they 
could net have great hope to gain or profit much by i:: for 
what could it avail them to cut him off, seeing another was 
to succeed in hi" place, as ill perhaps as he? So that by putting 
c/f him to death, all that they could gain, would be but an irre- 
concilable deadly feud with that house, which was too high a 
degree cf enmity for any thing that had yet been amongst 
them, being nothing but grudges, and such things as might 
have been easily taken away. So that, since the discourse of 
nan 3 for ought we can judge, could never have reached so. 



far as to have suspected what followed, but rather to have 
looked for the contrary, I see not how the Earl nor his friends 
can be blamed for credulity; or how can k be censured in him 
as a defect of his youth, and proceeding from want of exper- 
ience: for what otherwise could he have done, if his exper- 
ience had been ever so great, or himself never so old? Nei- 
ther is there sufficient ground to tax his friends, as if their 
hopes had blinded them so that they could not see any peril, 
which no discourse of reason could see or apprehend. It is 
true, men ought to be circumspect; but it is a fault also, and, 
proceeds of an ill nature to be suspicious, as he might well 
have seemed to be, if he had refused to come. The event 
shows there was cause to suspect the worst: but I denv that 
reason could foresee that event, or any, considering of the 
circumstances, could have made one to have locked for it: 
neither can any man save himself from such treason; neither 
can it be reputed as simplicity to the sufferer, but as a mon- 
strous enormity to the doer. 

To return to our purpose, their disloyal practice staid not 
In this smooth letter; they double fraud upon fraud: for so 
soon as Crichton knew he was on his journey, he came 
many miles to meet him, and inviting him to his castle of 
Crichton, (which was near the way he was to go) he fea~,teth 
him, he cherisheth him, he entertaineth him friendly, chear- 
fully, and magnificently; and that not for one day, but for 
two days kindly, with all the tokens and demonstrations of a 
friendly mind that could be given. And to remove all sus- 
picion of unfriendliness and the more to circumvent him, he 
admonished him familiarly, i( That he would remember the 
«« royal dignity of his prince, and his own duty towards him; 
« { that he would acknowledge him for his lord and sovereign 
« whom the condition of his birth, the laws of the country, 
" and the consent of the states had placed at the helm of the 
" commonwealth; that he would labour to transmit his so 
« great patrimony acquired by the virtue of his ancestors, and 
« f with spending of their blood to his posterity, even so as he 
" as he had received it; that he would be careful to keep the 


" name of Douglas, which was no less illustrious and renown- 
M ed for their faithfulness, than their deeds of arms, not 
*<■ only from the foul blot of treason, but even from all 
<« stain of suspicion or aspersion thereof; that he himself would, 
M abstain, and cause his men to abstain from wronging the 
" poor people; that he would put from about him thieves 
« and robbers. Finally, that in time to come he would set 
« himself to maintain justice; that if he had offended any thing 
« in times past, it might be imputed not to his natural diposi- 
« tion, but to ill counsel, and that infirmity of his youth, 
« penitency would be admitted and accepted as innocency." 
Venomous viper, that could hide so deadly poison under so fair 
shews! Unworthy tongue, unless to be cut out for example 
to all ages! Let not the poets be thought fabulous, who have 
transformed men into beasts, lo a beast composed of many 
beasts, a lion, a tyger, for cruelty of heart; a wasp, a spider, 
a viper, for spite and malicious poisonableness; a fox and 
camelion, for falsehood and doubleness; a cockatrice and cro- 
codile, and whatsoever nature hath brought forth, that is de- 
ceitful and hurtful; a sweet singing syren, enchanting the 
outward senses, to the destruction of the listener, so much the 
more odious, that it was in the shape of a man; and the 
more detestable, that it durst so pollute the image of God, so 
abuse the glory of man; the speech of the tongue therefore 
given him beyond the beast, that he might employ it well, to 
inform aright, to speak truth, and to do good to others. 
The honest heart of the hearer, tftat knew what he spake 
was right, and intended to follow so good counsel, taketh all 
in good part, believeth the speech for the truth's sake, and 
the man for the speech's sake. And who could have done 
otherwise? Who would not have thought that he who knew 
so well what was right, would have had some regard to do 
right? Shall we account it childishness, that he accounted so> 
of them, and suffered him to be so deceived? Nay, he could 
not keep himself undeceived. Good men, and wise men have 
often been deceived both in sacred and profane histories. We 
must not impute it to childishness in Abner, that Joab stabbed 


him under trust, but esteem it vile treachery in Joab, of whom 
David says, *« He dieth not as a fool dieth, howbeit his hands 
'* were not bound, but as a good man falleth before a wick- 
** ed man," that i«, by treason, which no man can eschew. 

It is said that his friends seeing so extraordinary entertain- 
ment, so fair language above measure, so humble behaviour, 
and withal so many messages, at every step almost betwixt the 
governor and chancellor, took some suspicion of ill meaning; 
and that there arose first a still murmur through the whole 
company, thereafter some began to admonish him, that if he 
would persist to go on, he would send back his brother Da- 
vid, being mindful of a precept of his father's, " that they 
« should not come both together into one place, where them- 
** selves were not masters, lest they should endanger their 
<c whole family at once." The unwary youth, unwary in- 
deed; but what wariness could he have, poor innocent? and 
very well inclined, even angry with his friends, staid those 
murmurs by a plain commandment, and assured his friends 
thus, that he knew well, it was a perpetual pest of great 
houses, that they had ever about them some men that were 
impatient of peace, who made gain of the perils, travels aad 
miseries of their Lords and patriarchs; and because, in peace 
they were restrained by the bridle of the law, they were e- 
ver stirring up strife and sedition, that in troubled times they 
might have greater scope and liberty to their wickedness. As 
for himself, he reposed more upon the known wisdom, and 
prudence of the governor and chancellor, than to give ear to 
their suspicious surmises. 

This speech thus uttered, testifying both an acknowledg- 
ing of the evil past, and a resolution to amend, was it not suf- 
ficient to have purged whatsoever error had been, or might 
have been thought to have escaped him before? And certain- 
ly it would, if these men had regarded justice or the good of 
the commonwealth, and had desired to reclaim him from his 
errors, and win him to his country. But his so full confi- 
dence thus reposing on their credit, was it not enough to have 
£xed them to keep their credit, if there had been any spark 



of humanity or nature of man left in them, and if they had 
not been worse than savage beasts? Trust deserveth that we 
should prove worthy of that trust, and credit procures keep- 
ing of credit, where all human nature is not extinct, and e- 
ven simplicity deserveth favour and pity. Neither can a man 
that is not altogether given over, and hath not sold himself to 
wickedness, chuse but. favour it, and have compassion of it, 
yea though he had been otherwise disposed in the beginning; 
it would even move any man's heart, that were indeed a man, 
and not changed into a beast, to favour and commiserate, and 
would have tamed and calmed any former discontentment, 
and have wrung from them any evil intention which they 
might perhaps have conceived before. However, this noble 
youth goeth on in the innocency of his heart, and that the 
more quickly, to cut off all occasion of such speeches, and 
with his brother, and with a few other principal friends, go- 
eth directly to the castle, being led as it were and drawn by a 
fatal destiny, and both enter, and so come in the power of 
those their deadly enemies and feigned friends. At the 
very instant comes the governor, as was before appointed be- 
twixt them, to play his part of the tragedy, that both might 
be alike embarked in the action, and bear the envy of so ugly 
a fact, that the weight thereof might not lie on one alone; 
yet to play out their treacherous parts, they welcome him 
most courteously, set him to dinner with the King at the same 
table, feast him royally, entertain him chearfully, and that for 
a long time. At last about the end of dinner, they compass 
him about with armed men, and cause present a bull's head 
before him on the board: the bull's head was in those days a 
token of death, say our histories, but how it hath come in 
use so to be taken, and signify, neither do they, nor any else 
tell us; neither is it to be found that I remember, any where in. 
history, save m this one place; neither can we conjecture what 
affinity it can have therewith, unless to exprobrate grossness, 
according to the French, and our own reproaching dull and 
gross wits, by calling him calves-head (tete de VeauJ but 
not bull's head. So that by this they did insult over that 


innocence which they had snared, and applaud their own wis- 
dom that had so circumveened him: a brave commendation in- 
deed and an honest! yet I wonder what they meant by enter- 
taining him so well at that time; there was some reason for 
it why they should have done it by the way, that they might 
work out their treason, until he were within their fangs; but 
being now within the castle, and fully in their power, I won- 
der what it should mean to make him so fair a welcome, to 
feast him so liberally and solemnly at the King's table, and 
from thence to bring him to the shambles: what could have 
been their intention? Might they not have conveyed him to 
some private chamber: might they not have carried him to the 
place of execution? What needed all this process? What need- 
ed they to have let him see the King at all? It would seem as if 
they had not been fully resolved upon the business before, and 
that their intentions and purposes were not treasonable, but 
that they took occasion to be treasonable from the facility to 
achieve it: but our writers are clear against that, and say only 
it was pre-concluded when he was written for. It might 
seem also that they did this to communicate the matter, or to 
transfer it altogether upon the King: but he was too young, 
and purges himself by disproving of it. So that I can see no 
other reason of it, but as the lion with his prey, or, to use a 
more base, yet a more familiar example, and the baser the fit- 
ter for them, as the cat with the mouse, which she might de- 
vour immediately, yet it pleaseth her to play a little with it; 
so they, for their greater satibfaction and contentment, delight 
to play out their scene, so strangely notwithstanding, ?hat 
such process and uncouth forms of doing might seem to m- 
port some mystery and deeper reach than ordinary, which I 
confess is so profound and deep a folly and enchantment, that 
I can nowise sound it, unless it were, that the nobleman's 
place and worth forced their wicked hearts to acknowledge 
it, notwithstanding their wickedness: and although the ac- 
knowledging could not prevail so far, as to make them leave 
off the enterprise, yet did it in some sort brangle their resolu- 
tion, and wrung out this confession of his worth) as ail the 


actions of wickedness, and all wickedness in the acting, are 
full of contradictions; so this same is most clearly: for if this 
nobleman was guilty of death, why is he brought into the 
King's presence? Why is he set at his table? If he was not 
guilty, why was he put to death? So difficult a thing it is in 
a lie to keep conformity, either in a lie of actions, so to speak, 
or in a lie of words. In words it is difficult so to speak, that 
the attentive hearer shall not perceive contrariety; in actions 
it is impossible that they can be dissembled. This action is a 
lie, for it saith that he is guilty of death; but their welcom- 
ing of him, their setting of him at the table with the King, 
and their feasting, says he is an innocent, noble, i worthy 
man. Indeed only truth in word and action can accord with 
itself: as it is uniform, it floweth from unity, tendeth to it, 
and endeth in it, and keepeth the taste of the fountain from 
which it cometh. So they having given this confession of 
his worth, and again, by that ominous sign, contradicted their 
confession, must needs be false witnesses, however it go. The 
young nobleman, either understanding the sign as an ordin- 
ary thing, or astonished with it as an uncouth thing, upon the 
sight of the bull's head, offering to rise, was laid hold of by 
their armed men, in the King's presence, at the King's table, 
which should have been a sanctuary to him. And so with- 
out regard of King, or any duty, and without any further 
process, without order, assize or jury, without law, no crime 
objected, he not being convicted at all, a young man of that 
age, that was not liable to the law in regard of his youth, a no- 
bleman of that place, a worthy young gentleman of such expec- 
tation, a guest of that acceptation, one who had reposed upon 
their credit, who had committed himself to them, a friend in 
mind, who looked for friendship, to whom all friendship was 
promised, afgainst duty, law, friendship, faith, honesty, hu- 
manity, hospitality; against nature, against human society, a- 
i linst God's law, against man's law, and the law of nature, is 
cruelly executed and put to death: they, in despite as it were, 
spitting in the face of all duty and honesty, proclaiming as far 
3s in them there was no duty to God nor man to be regard- 


ed. And that the measure of their wickedness, thus heaped 
and shaken, and prest down, might also run over, all this was 
done, as it should seem, without the consent, nay, against the 
will of their King and sovereign, who wept at their execu- 
tion, and forbade them to meddle with his cousin: the shame- 
less men chid him for weeping at -the death of his enemy, as 
they call him, during whose life, say they, he needed never 
to look for peace, whereas they themselves were his chiefest 
enemies and greatest traitors to him, and besides him to God 
and nature, and to the office of justice which they bore, bring- 
ing a blot on the one and the other, and blood-guiltiness up- 
on his crown, so far as lay in them. 

This is that detestable fact never enough to be condem- 
ned, which I have laboured indeed to set forth in its own 
simple colours, stripping it naked of all farding, though I 
confess no words can equal the wickedness of it, that men 
may learn to detest such things wherein may be seen what 
respect they have carried either to justice, to equity, to com- 
mon-peace, commonwealth, that thought it better to root out 
such a plant, than to dress and to cherish it; to ruin such a 
house rather than to gain it, which they never, would have 
done, if their private pride and avarice had not had the great- 
est sway with them. I think all honest minds should disdain 
to read what they gave out before, of their love to the pub- 
lic good, having here so terribly belied it: neither should any 
man speak of it indifferently without a note of detestation; nei- 
ther extenuate it by the Earl's simplicity, which seems to dim- 
inish and lessen this execrable perfidy and cruelty. If this were 
the wisdom, whereof they had purchased an opinion and name 
under the former King James I. and if they had practised such 
things as this, it hath been a bitter root, and hath brought 
forth a very bitter fruit, and hath, in all appearance, been no 
small part of the cause of hastening his death, and the em- 
boldening of his enemies unto it, as indeed I find some of 
our writers inclined to say; for such new men go commonly 
about to persuade princes, that ancient noblemen are enemies 
to them, and bar their absoluteness, which is it tlut the-e 


men here mean, in spying that the Earl Douglas was an ene- 
my to the King. Not that he bare any ill will to the King's 
person, (for that they could nowise make appear) but because 
he wr.s so great a man: according to that general rule, that 
greatness in the nobility is dangerous for the prince, and as 
if to be a great man were by infallible consequence to be an 
enemy to the King. Which maxim I fear they have beaten 
into his bead afterwards; not so much to strengthen and pro- 
vide for his security, as to draw him to their party for 
strengthening of themselves: for we see all their intentions 
aim but at their own particulars, and so in this they intend 
nothing else; only they colour their particulars with the pre- 
text of the King's service, as they do this wicked fact also. 

David Douglas ihe younger brother was also put to death 
with him, and Malcolm Fleming of Cumbernald his special 
counsellor. They were all three beheaded in the back court 
of the castle that lieth to the west. This augments yet their 
wickedness, that they execute his brother also, whose age be- 
hoved to be less than his own, who was but very young too, 
as we have said. These were good tutors and bringers up of 
a young prince, thus as it were to bait him with the blood of 
his nobility, and to imprint such a lesson in his tender mind 
that they were his enemies. But for conclusion of this mat- 
ter, concerning these your.g men, as there was no law laid 
against them, so is there no history that beareth witness 
that they were guilty of any capital crime. And Major saith 
expressly, Apud annates legi, quod viri Mi non erant ret 
mortis^ sed quod consilio vcl dolo Gulielmi Creichtoni Sco- 
tia Canccllarii h<pc pcrpetrata sunt: That is, I read in our 
annals that these men were not guilty of death, but this matter 
was achieved by the counsel and fraud of Crichton the chancel- 
lor. It is sure, the people did abhor it, execrating the place 
where it was done, in detestation of the fact, of which the me- 
mory remaineth yet to cur days in these words. 

Edinburgh Castle, Town and Tower, 

God grant thou sink for sin; 
And that even for the black Dinner 

Earl Douglas got therein, 



Now, since these youths were not guilty, whereof were 
they not guilty that put them to death? And with what note 
of infamy to be branded? Though some seem to blame this 
innocent young man, as they cannot deny him to have been, 
with half words, as guided by flattery, given to insolence, 
presumptuous in his port, yet is there no effect, or affection 
brought importing either his being addicted to flattery, or 
that he was more insolent, presumptuous or arrogant than be- 
came a man of his rank: but on the contrary, that he was of a 
gentle nature, a repulser of flattery now as he grew in age, 
and of due magnificence, such as well became him. Let us 
therefore account of him so, as one that was singular in re- 
spect of his years; and let the blame lie fully on his enemies, 
who shall find some meeting hereafter from his counsin, that 
they may find all the house perished not with him, though 
indeed the punishment was not proportioned to that which 
they deserved. 


In Gulielmum et Davidem fralres in Arce Edinlurgcna trucU 


Vestra Sophocleo cezdes est digna cothurno. 

Vestra Thyestea ccena omenta magis. 
Vos scelere atque dolis t vos proditione necati, 

Insontes, puerique et patriot proceres. 
Regius et vestro est Jcedatus funere vultus: 

Qui Jertur siccas non tenuisse genas. 
Hceccine, Hectares, vestra est prudent la tarda? 

Hceccine laudatur justitia? heecne fides? 
Exemplum ccternis nunquam dehbile fiastis 

Perstat Jraudis atrce, perfidia'que trucis. 

In English thus, 

Your murther may deserve a tragic muse, 
Your horrid dinner justly might excuse 
Thyestes' feast, by a more treacherous train 
Drawn to* the ax, more barbarously slain 
Than was his- son: your prince's guiltless eye- 


Stained with the sight, wept at the cruelty. 
Is this these rulers' wisdom? this their love 
To justice? this the prudence men approve 
So much? O black example! fit to be 
Mark'd in eternal scrolls of infamy. 

Of James, called Gross James, the Third James, Six* 
teenlk Lord, and Seventh Earl of Douglas, Lord 
of Bothwell, Abercom and Annandale, the Fourth 
Duke of TouRAiNEf and Lord of Longueville. 

U NTO William succeeded his father's brother James Lord 
of Abercom, in all the lands that were entailed; but Beatrix, 
sister to the said William, fell heir to the rest that were not 
entailed, which were many, say our writers, particularly 
Galloway, Wigton, Balveny, Ormond, Annandale. This 
James was called gross James, because he was a corpulent man 
of body. He had to wife Beatrix Sinclair, daughter to the Earl 
of Orkney, but which Earl is not expressed. To find it, we 
must consider, that from 1. William Sinclair, the first that came 
out of France and married Agnes Dunbar, daughter to Patrick 
first Earl of March, 2. The next was Henry his son, who was 
married to Katharine daughter to the Earl of Strathern; 3. 
His son called Henry, also married Margaret Gartnay, daughter 
to the Earl of Mar; 4. This Henry's son, Sir William who 
passed into Spain, with good Sir James Douglas, who carried 
the Bruce's heart to Jerusalem: he was married to Elizabeth 
5peir daughter to the Earl of Orkney and Zetland, and so 
by her became the first Earl of Orkney of the Sinclairs. 
The second Earl was, 5. William also, who married Floren- 
tina daughter- to the King of Denmark, the sixth person, 
and third EarJ, was his Son Henry, who married Giles, or 
Egidia, daughter to the Lord of Nithisdale. The seventh 
psrson and fourth Earl is Sir William, who married Eliza- 


beth Douglas daughter to Archibald Tineman, the first Duke 
of Touraine, and sister to this James the gross. Now this 
James's wife cannot have been this last William's daughter, 
for then she should have been his own sister's daughter. 
And therefore she hath been either Henry's that marri- 
ed Giles Douglas, or else Sir William's who married Floren- 
tina, which of the two I leave it to conjecture: her great 
spirit and high ambition would seem to argue that she 
was come of Kings, and near to them; but the monument in 
Douglas calleth her daughter to Henry; 

She bare to this Earl James seven son9 and four daughters. 
The name of the eldest was William, and the second James, 
who were Earls of Douglas, both of them by succession, as 
we shall hear; the third was Archibald, who man.ed the 
daughter of John Dunbar Earl of Murray, brother to (George 
Earl of March, by which means he got the Earldom or Mur- 
ray, the fourth named Hugh, was made Earl of Ormond, and 
had sundry lands given him by the King in Tiviotdale and 
Ross the fifth, John, was made Lord of Balveny; the sixth 
Henry was Bishop of Dunkeld; George the seventh, died be- 
fore he was fifteen years of age, as our chronicles do witness;, 
but there is no mention of him in the monuments at Douglas, 
where the rest are set down by name. As for his four 
daughters, 1. Margaret the eldest, was married to the Ijord 
Dalkeith; 2. Beatrix the second, to John Stewart Duke of 
Albany constable of Scotland, and czptain of fifty men at 
arms in France; the third was named Janet, and was married 
to the Lord Fleming of Cumbernauld; Elizabeth who was the 
fourth, diedunmarried. This Gross James's eldcstson William, 
partly to hold up the greatness of his house, partly by the 
lady's own desire, who directly refused to marry ar>y oilier of 
the name of Douglas, married Beatrix Douglas his, she 
was called the fair maiden of Galloway: and so by this match 
the estate of Douglas was preserved entire, and those lands 
which she would have been heir to, and divided from it, were 
kept in their own hands. This match was made far against 
the opinion of the rest of the name of Douglas, who thought 



it better, that she should havo been married to 6ome of the 
house of Angus or Dalkeith, alleging that the house of 
Douglas was too great already, and that their greatness would 
be the ruin of the house; which maxim, although it proveth 
often true, that too great dominions under princes, as also 
princes themselves having so large extent of territories, and 
other republics and commonwealths, when they come to that 
hugeness that they cannot easily be governed, do fall and 
are overthrown by their own weight: and the conspiracies 
and combinations of neighbouring princes or states, who fear 
and are jealous of their excessive greatness, or by their sub- 
jects within, either through the prince's jealousy, who suspects 
them, or others' envy, who stir up jealousy in the prince, and 
draw hirn to suspect them: and therefore all, both Lordships 
and Empires, are to be restrained and kept within a medio- 
crity, and that as well princes and commonwealths as sub- 
jects, which all men will confess: but what this mediocrity is 
they declare not; neither will they confess, or do they ever 
think that they are come to that fulness, that there is any 
danger of exceeding so far, as to procure their overthrow, 
or breed any peril. It is said of Augustus Csesar that he in- 
tended some limitation of the empire, and had resolved to 
have propagated it no further; yet it was doubted, upon 
ground it was, that he thus resolved, whether out of prudence, 
or of envy towards his successors, that none might go beyond 
him, or add any more to it than he had. And it is indeed a 
.hard matter to persuade men, and perhaps no less difficult to 
prove; for all agree that such earthly things, even all of them 
are in a perpetual flux and motion, and that they cannot stand 
long at a stay, without going either forward or backward, in- 
creasing or decreasing. If therefore they go not forward, 
they must go back, if they do not increase, they must de- 
crease, which if it be true, it were better to seek to increase so 
long as men may, than to take them to a standing, from 
which they must decrease, if they do not increase. 

But whether on this reasonable account, his friends of the 
name of Douglas would thus have persuaded him not to 
become too great for fear of falling, or for any particular 


view of their own, or whether he, for this other reason, 
or rather for the common disposition of men to press ever 
forward, I know not; but he chose to be great, and take 
his hazard; and because the two parties were within the de- 
grees prohibited by the Roman church (brothers' children) he 
sent to Rome for a dispensation; which being long in coming, 
and he fearing lest the King and the rest of the name of 
Douglas would cast all the impediments they could in the way 
to hinder the match, which was also reported, and not without 
ground, caused hasten the marriage before the dispensation 
came, and that in Lent too, a time forbidden also; and which 
is more, on the Friday before Pasch, called commonly Good. 
Friday. This was thought ominous, and the unhappy event 
confirmed this opinion. They were married in the church 
of Douglas. Some write, that this marriage was procured 
and made by the young man himself, after the decease of his 
father: however, this was a special cause of dissention and di- 
vision amongst those of the name of Douglas. 

For the actions of this Gross James, we have no particulars 
recorded in histories, either in his brother's time, or his 
nephew's time, or now when he cometh to be Earl himself. 
There b no mention at ail made of him; whether he did any 
thing for to revenge the murder of his nephews by Crichtcn 
and Livingston; belike as he hath been corpulent, so hath his 
corpulency caused a dulness of spirit, as commonly it doth. 
Some write that he was warden of all the marches, and his 
monument at Douglas agreeth with them, and says that he 
was a great justiciary. Others write that he was no ill man; 
that he entertained no disordered wicked men, but yet he did 
not repress them sharply enough; and therefore was suspected 
by the King, and disliked by many. He died in Abercorn, 
within two years, or not three, says the manuscript, after the 
marriage of his son, which hath not been long in making. 
We may guess it most probably to have been not fully three 
years, and so that he died in the year 1443. He was buried in 
Douglas, where, on his tomb, he is called magnus Prmccps, 
and, amongst other titles, Lord of Liddisdale and Jedburgh- 


Forest. His wife is stiled, Domina Avenicc, Lady of Atcii- 
dalp; his epitaph there is yet to be seen thus, 

Hie Jacet magnas et potens Princeps, Dominus Jacobus de Dou- 
glas, Comes de Douglas, Dominus Annandice et Gallovidice, 
Liddalice, et Jedburgh- For estice, et Dominus de Balvenia, ma<r. 
nus Wardanus Regni Scotice versus Angliam, Sfc. Qui obiit vi- 
cesimo quarto die mensis Martii, Anno Domini millesimo, quad- 
ringentesimo quadrageshno tertio. 

His Wife's is thus, 

Hie jacet Domina Beatrix de Sinclair, jilia Domini Henrici Com- 
itis Orcadum, Domini de Sinclair, Corii'ifissa de Douglas, et Av- 
enice Domina Gallovidice. 

His Childrens' are thus, 

Hcc sunt proles inter prcedictos Dominum, et Dominant generates, 
1. Dominus Gulielmus primo genitus, et heres prccdicti Domini 
Jacobi, qui successit ad tptam hereditatem prcedictam; 2. Jaco- 
bus secundo genitus, Magister dc Douglas; 3. Archibaldus ter- 
tio genitus, Comes Murray; 4. Hugo quarto genitus, Comes 
Ormondite; 5. Johannes quinto genitus, Dominus Bahenice; 6. 
Jlcnricus sexto gcuctus. Margareta uxor Domini de Dalkeith; 
Beatrix uxor Domini de Aubignia; Joncta uxor Domini de Big- 
gar et Cumbernauld; Elizabetha de Douglas, quarta Jilia erat. 

In English thus, 

Here lies a great and powerful prince, Lord James Douglas, Earl of Dou- 
glas, Lord of Annandale and Galloway, Liddisdale and Jedburgh-forest, 
and Lord of Balveny, great warden of the kingdom of Scotland towards, 
England, &c, He died the 24th day of March, in the year 1443. 

His Wife's is thus, 

Here lies the Lady Beatrix Sinclair, daughter of Henry Lord of the Isles* 
Lord Sinclair, Counters of Douglas and Avendale, Lady Galloway. 

Their Children. 

These are the children betwixt the said Lord and Lady: I. Lord William 
his eldest son, and heir to the said Lord James, who succeeded to all the 
foresaid lands. 2. James the second son, master of Douglas. 3, Archi- 


bald the third son, Earl of Murray. 4. Hugh the fourth son, Earl of 
Ormond. 5. John the fifth son, Lord of Babeny. 6. Henry the sixth 
son. Margaret wife to the Lord of Dalkieth. Beatrix wife to the Lord 
Aubigny. Janet wife to the Lord of Biggar and Cumbernauld. Eliza- 
beth Douglas was the fourth daughter. 

Jacobus Crassus. 

Douglasii crassiquc mihi cognomina soli 
Conveniunt: quam nomina juncta male. 

James the Gross. 

To be a Douglas, and be gross withal, 
You shall not find another 'monsst them all. 

Of William slain in Stwling castle, the Seventh Wil- 
liam, and Eight Earl of Douglas, the Sixteenth 
Lord, and Fifth Duke of Touraine, §c. 

IjNTO James succeeded his son William, a man of another 
metal, and resembling more his grandfather, and cousin who 
was put to death in Edinburgh castle, than his father, who 
did remember, and imitate more his cousin's diligence, than 
his father's negligence; for he endeavoured by all means to 
entertain and augment the grandeur of the house, by bonds, 
friendship and dependences, retaining, renewing, and increas- 
ing them; and therefore his marriage with his cousin Beatrix 
is attributed to him, and is thought to be his own doing, and 
not his father's. Upon his first coming to be Earl, his first 
care was to establish some certain order for his affairs, for 
which purpose he convened his whole friends at Dumfries, 
made choice of his counsellors, createth his officers for his 
rents and casualities, and settleth a constant order in his house. 
Great was that house, as hath been said, and doubtless it was 
nothing diminished by him, but s rather increased by the ac- 


cession of his father's estate, which he had ere he was Earl, 
and his wife's, which being added unto the old patrimony of 
the house, made it to surpass all others that were but subjects; 
for it had been ever growing from hand to hand continually, 
since the time of Lord James slain in Spain, who had the Lord- 
ship of Douglas only at the first; to it was added the Lordship 
of Galloway by Archibald slain, at Halidonhill; by Archibald 
the Grim, the Lordship of Bothwell ; by Archibald the Third, 
called Tineman the dutchy of Touraine and Lordship of 
Longueville; Annandale and the Earldom of Wigton, by 
Archibald the fourth; and now the Lordship of Abercorn by 
Gross James: so that his revenue hath been huge at this time, 
as appears also by the rank he ever carried, as second in the 

His dependence and following may be judged by these his 
Lordships and estate; and for his other friendships, there were 
divers houses of the Douglases, as Angus, Morton, Drumlan- 
rig; by alliance he had Aubigny and the Lord Fleming of 
Cumbernauld, who had married his sister; by his mother the 
Earl of Orkney; by his wife Beatrix the house of Crawford, 
of which her mother was a daughter, beside the old friend- 
ship that was ever betwixt them; and this may be seen by 
history, which to observe it, whereof more may be found 
by a more accurate disquisition. Thus enriched, thus waited 
on, thus followed, thus served, thus underpropped, and sus- 
tained by wealth, friendship, dependence, alliance and kin- 
dred, his power and greatness was such, as was not matched 
under the prince by any in this kingdom. 

But here is the malhcur, the principals of his own name, 
Angus and Morton, assisted him not, but divided themselves 
from him, and either were not his friends, or even became 
enemies, as we shall hear hereafter: what the occasion there- 
of was, is not directly mentioned; some think it was the dis- 
contentment they had conceived at his marriage, either because 
they accountedit unlawful, or because some of themwouldhave 
had her to themselves, which is the more likely, or in res- 
pect of their kindred with the king who was indeed induced, 


though not yet, to think hardly of him, or out of emulation 
of his greatness, as an hinderance to their growth; which was 
Bishop Kennedy's opinion to his brother the Earl of Angus; 
and so it falleth out often, where a decay is to come upon a 
house, it first divides from and within itself; yet that was but 
an insensible point at this time, his own greatness being such, 
as would scarce suffer him to find the loss, standing as it were 
not by any friendship, but merely of himself, and upon his 

At the very first, when he entered to the Earldom, he entered 
also as hereditary, to the enmity of the two grand guiders of 
the time, Livingston and Crichton, with whom the hatred 
took beginning in his uncle's time, and was thereafter traiter- 
ously and cruelly prosecuted by ,them on his two cousins: k 
continued, though coldly, in his father's time, and was now 
quickened and revived by himself. They would needs lay 
the blame of whatsoever disorder happened in the country 
upon him, not only of what fell out in the borders, (where he 
commanded, and might command indeed) but even in the 
Highlands also: that which John Gorme of Athole did, who 
fought with the Laird of Ruthven, and would have rescued a 
thief out of his hands, being apprehended by him as sheriff, if 
he had not been defeated, and thirty of his men slain by Ruth- 
ven; they would have it to be thought, that the Earl Douglas 
forsooth ha-d an hand in it. But is well that our writers say, it 
was but thought so, and though it had been said so by his ene- 
mies, there is no necessity to believe it was so; for they done 
him more wrong, and dealt more treacherously with him, 
than to make such a report: for me, I cannot believe he 
should interpose in matters at such a distance, or that John 
Gorme could not do such a thing without the Earl of Douglas, 
or that the Earl Douglas would meddle with such a matter; this 
I believe, that in his own bounds he would suffer none to ac- 
knowledge the governors, which was his uncle's course, as we 
heard, seeing he was himself to be answerable for them. It 
was his father's way also, though more coldly, according to 
his natural disposition, as may be gathered of that which is 

240 historV of the 

said, that he repressed not thieves, though he entertained 
them not; which is as much as to say, as he was not author 
or occasion of their theft, yet he being no magistrate himself, 
and others having taken the government upon them, he would 
let them bear the weight of their own charge in executing 
thereof, and would not help them therein by restraining any; 
and that so much the rather, because having murdered his 
nephew, he could not with credit employ himself to ease 
them of their burden by his assistance; he did them no hurt, 
he could not with honour do them any good; so he lets them 
alone, doing to them neither ill nor good; than which, I think, 
he could not do less; and where just cause of enmity was, 
how could it be more modestly used? except they would have 
had him, after such a villanous fact, to go creeping under 
their feet, as we say, which the meanest man will not do af- 
ter the smallest injury, and even where there is no injury, 
unless men reap some benefit, they will suffer others to do 
their own part, and not help them, where they have no in- 
terest, either as belonging to their charge, or from whence 
they may gather some profit. 

It is true, he only could do that service, and there was no 
ability in them that had the charge, but he was not obliged 
to supply their inability; and why should they have taken on 
them? or why should the states (which I think did not, but 
that it was done by faction) have laid it upon them that were 
not able to discharge it? This was not wisely done, and it is 
the very point of the error in the estates, so called, and the 
ground of all the inconveniences that fell out, for they chose 
men that had not power to discharge the office, and such as 
had, did let them do it alone, and withal perhaps disdained 
their preferment, as being without merit, for we see no merit 
in them by true virtue. Hereon arose discontents, then 
grudges, then crossings, then Warnings, and reproaching in 
words and deeds, growing at last to an open enmity. Of such 
great importance is it to make right choice of men for em- 
ployments, and such wisdom is requisite in the choosers, be 
it estates, be it princes, not to follow affection, but to con- 


sider worth and ability rightly, and to employ accordingly* 
which if it be not done, it carrieth with it infinite inconveni- 
encies, and hath troubled many estates, yea ruined them, and 
It must needs be so. Happy state, happy Prince, yea happy he 
whosoever, that having a necessity to employ others, as Who 
hath not, employeth according to reason, and not affection, or 
hath his affection ruled by feason, which if he do not it, shall 
disgrace the employer, breed disdain to him that is em- 
ployed, and bring contempt upon both, which will burst out 
with occasion, and not long be curbed and kept in, though it 
lurk for a time. 

It may be, this Earl of Douglas hath gone further than his 
father in showing his contempt of these justice-bearers; it 
may be he hath borne with the Bordermen, and been more 
slack in repressing of them, (for his father repressed them, 
though not enough) because he had intention to employ them, 
being more sensible of the wrong done to his cousins, and 
had a greater eye to revenge it, and therefore was loath to 
controul these men of service, further than the mere necessity 
of his place did require at his hands; whereof the rule, in the 
eyes of the people, was to save all men from oppression as far 
as he could; in his own eyes, the rule which he propounded 
to himself was, to protect his friends and dependers, and for 
his adversaries, to rejoice perhaps at their smart, if not to 
procure it; as for neutrals, to leave it to the magistrate to re- 
dress what is amiss, not perceiving by that means he doth 
more hurt the country than his enemies, and wounds his 
own credit more than their reputation; and therefore he lost 
more by furnishing them with some ground of obloquy, of- 
fending the people and honest men, than he gained by the 
hurt of his adversaries, or favour of broken men. Nothing is 
more popular, yea nothing is more profitable than justice, say 
all writers, not to mean and private men only, who incur the 
danger of law by injustice, but even to great men, even 
to princes, who if they incur not the danger of laws, being 
placed above the reach thereof, yet do they lose the most 
profitable instrument of all their actions, by which tbey 

H h 


must needs work, arid without which they cannot, the hearts 
of men. It feareth me ( too many think it enough to have 
their hands, to have their bodies at command; but let not 
men think they can have their bodies, if they have not 
their hearts-, neither their hearts, if they have them not indeed 
in a high measure of affection j Who hath no measure of af- 
fection, can have no command of the body to any purpose, 
and a slack affection produceth but a slack action as it hath 
ever proved: so that in effect policy hath that chief object to 
work on the affections of men, and that not to deceive or 
force them, for neither of these can work well and long. 
Neither is it sufficient that a man see not a present evil, 
as a prince a present insurrection, a great man a present 
loss of his followers and favourersj which falleth out some- 
times, but not always. Oftentimes it is like a canker, work- 
ing by piece-meal insensibly, from degree to degree, upon the 
affections, till it hath consummated the work of disgrace of 
the party it seizeth on, and windeth their favours out of the 
hearts of men: as commonly men's actions that procure it are 
of the same sort, not all in an instant, or at one time, but one 
ungracious fact cometh after another, and another again upon 
the neck of that, and so forth. This therefore is so murh 
the more diligently to be taken heed of, and eschewed in the 
beginning; or if any error escape, to be taken up and recom- 
pensed by amendment or some other grateful action import- 
ing as much favour as the error did disdain: neither must the 
affections of men be suffered to cool, languish, and to be 
eaten up at unawares, till at last they utterly decay and 

Thus we may see here, he hath not been Well advertised by 
those of his house of Douglas* which before were the most e- 
steemed, the best beloved, and favoured universally almost by 
the whole country. But now, while as they would trouble 
the governors, and let their inability be seen, and for that 
end either bear with thieves, or suffer them, they are not 
aware by that means they suffer an ill opinion of themselves 
to creep into men's minds, and that love of the people to di- 


minish by piece-meal, for the space now of three or four 
men's lives. And whereas they were wont with their her- 
itage to succeed to a general favour of the people, now, on 
the contrary, they succeed to a grudge and ill opinion, and 
so an universal dislike, which at last hath done away all that 
wonted love, and turned it into hatred, which did greatly ad- 
vance and further the plots of their enemies against them, and 
made their oreatness odious that was accustomed to be 
favoured. It is very true, that the men against whom he set 
himself had used no good means, abused their offices, abused, 
their country, and the name of their king and commonwealth, 
for their own particular ends, yet he should not have used ill 
means, no not against ill men; and the bare name of authority 
is of weight in the eyes of men, as the name of theft odiousj 
from any countenancing whereof noblemen should be far, as 
also from seeming to rise against any manner of authority, 
though authority be put even in mean men's hands as these 
were, chiefly when the opposcrs of authority can make no o- 
ther end appear but their own private interest, and that blot- 
ted with the enormities of broken men: yet what shall be giv- 
en to a just anger? what unto the time? what unto youth?- 
all thefc plead pardon if not approbation, the rather for that 
he takcth up himself from that sort of doing, so soon^s 
he can get a right King, to whom he might have access, 
and to whom he might yield with honour, which was ere long. 
The next year, 1444, the King taketh the government or*. 
himself directly, thither immediately the Earl Douglas con- 
cluded! to address himself, and by all good means to obtaiu 
his favour, to satisfy the people, to satisfy all men that were 
offended, and fully to change that course he had before fol- 
lowed. Certainly repentance is worth misdeed; and it may 
be seen, that the force of enmity hath driven him into these, 
faults, which, as soon as he can, he layeth aside. So coming 
with a great company to Stirling, he deals with the King by 
the intercession of such as were about him, and finding that 
he was appeased, goeth on, and puts himself and his estate m 
"his Prince's will, partly purging himself of. the crimes pas^ 


partly confessing them ingenuously, and telling him, that 
whatever estate he should have from that time forth, he 
would owe it to the King's clemency, and not ascribe it to his 
own innocence; that if the King would be contented to be 
satisfied by good offices, he would endeavour not to be short 
of any infidelity, observance, diligence, and good-will towards 
him-, that in repressing and punishing of thieves, whose actions 
his enemies laid upon him, there should no man be more se-! 
vere, nor more careful; that he was come of a house that was 
grown up, not by doing injuries to the weaker, but by de- 
fending the weaker and common people of Scotland by arms; 
certainly a true conclusion, and undeniable by his greatest e- 
nemies. But I have thought good to set down all as it was 
conceived, for whether there was any fault or not, his sub- 
mission was great, and his repentance sufficient to purge it 
whatsoever it were- Such is his respect to his sovereign 
Prince, and such the force of authority rightly placed in the 
due owner thereof, and such was also the force of truth in 
his speech, that the King* understanding that it was true in 
his predecessor, and hoping that it would be true in him- 
self, moved also by the private commendation of his cour- 
tiers, not only passed by, and forgave whatever had been 
amiss in his life before, but also received him into his most 
inward familiarity, and did communicate unto him the secrets 
of his council. Neither was the Earl unworthy thereof for part, but behaved himself so well that within a short 
lime he acquired the favour of the King by obedience, of his 
courtiers and servants by liberality, and of all men by gen- 
tleness, courtesy and modesty, and put the people in hope 
that he would prove a meek and sober-minded man. 

The wiser sort doubted, say our writers, whether so sudden 
a change would turn: but why should we think it a change? 
or if it were a change, it was very casual, very apparent, and 
jiothing to be wondered at, for it is this in effect, he had been 
untoward to base men* why should he not yield to his King? 
he had slighted the shadow of authority in them, why should 
i/p not acknow ledge and reverence the beams of it in his 


Prince? He had been froward to his enemies, why not 
gentle to his friends? He had sought to make them smart 
that wronged him, why not cherish those that did him good 
offices? he had warred on them, that had warred against him, 
why should he not keep friendship with those who kept friend- 
ship with him? Certainly these are not changes, neither of 
nature nor of manners, but are commonly, we see, in one and 
the same nature, and proceed from one and the same cause, 
which is greatness of courage, and regard of due honour. The 
greater despiser of baseness, the greater reverence of true great- 
ness; the greater repiner against compulsion, the gentler and 
calmer being used courteously; the harder enemy, the faithful- 
ler and sweeter friend: so that we may suspect these men's wis- 
dom, that did so far mistake his true courage, and accounted 
that a change, which was but a continuation of his inbred dis- 

Two men are said to have taken umbrage at the matter, 
whoso consciences were guilty of what they had deserved, 
Alexander Livingston and William Crichton; not for the 
change of his manners, but for the change of his credit. 
They had traiterously slain three innocent noblemen, his 
two cousins and Malcolm Fleming. They had kept him- 
self back from his Prince, and his Prince from him, and 
were sorry that ever they should have met in a friendly sort. 
They would have been glad to have blown the bellows of 
dissension, to have irritated the one, and misinformed the 
other, made their own quarrel the King's, and so have caused 
the King and country to esteem so of it. They were now 
disappointed of that, and the Earl had access to inform the 
King of their misdemeanours in their office, and to move him 
to call them in question for it. They knew he would re- 
member the wrong done to his cousins; they knew how unable 
they were to answer for many of their facts; and therefore they 
retire themselves from court, Livingston to his own house, 
Crichton to the castle of Edinburgh, which he had still in 
his keeping. Neither was the Earl Douglas negligent on this 
occasion, that was thus offered to seek justice by law and by 


right, to be avenged of his enemies for the wrong done bv 
them against law; wherefore he diligently informed the King 
from point to point, of their misbehaviour in their office, how 
they had abused him, abused his rents to their own private 
use, and moved him to call them to an account thereof where- 
upon being summoned to a certain day, they durst not com- 
pear; but, to set a fair face on the matter, they answered bv 
procurators or by letters, " That they were ready to give 
'* an account of their government; that they had been very 
* c careful of the King and country; desired nothing so much 
" as to give an account thereof before equal judges: but for 
" the present when the minds of men were preoccupied 
(( with the favour of their enemies, and all access closed with 
<f armed men, the King behoved to pardon, that they did e- 
<s schew, not to come to judgment, but to come in the danger 
ct of their deadly enemies and keep their lives for better times; 
' c when they should have removed the captain of thieves, 
*' from the King's side, which they had oft-times done before, 
" they would approve their innocency to the King and all ho- 
<« nest men." 

These reproaches and brags touched and were meant of 
the Earl Douglas. Him it was they called Captain of 
Thieves, because of the Border-men, of whom many were 
his followers. That they removed him often before, was 
idle boasting; for he had abstained to come to the King, so 
long as the King was in their custody, so long as he was in 
the castle of Edinburgh, where they might have murdered 
him, as they did his cousins. That he was their enemy, he 
den ; tJ not, and had just cause so to be; but to take that 
f:-.cuse from them, he gave them assurance he should not 
proceed against them anywise but by order of law, and. of- 
fered for that purpose to go from court till they should come 
to it in safety. And to meet their reproach of Captain of 
Thieves, and their boasting of the just administration of their 
offices, he was ready to prove that they themselves were 
thieves, that they had stolen the King's revenues, and distri- 
buted to their friends, and converted them to their owij 


particular use, and that they had traiterously against justice 
murdered his cousins, whereof he besought the King to 
grant him justice: and so a new charge was given out, and 
another day appointed for them to compear; which being 
come, and they not compearing, they were denounced rebels, 
in a convention kept at Stirling the 4th of November, and 
their goods and moveables confiscated. 

Thereafter John Forrester of Corstorphin, a depender of 
the Earl Douglas, is sent with a power of men to intromit 
with their goods; who having received their houses, some he 
razed, some he manned with new forces and provision: and 
so without resistance he returned laden with great spoil. He 
was scarce retired, when Crichton assembled his friends and 
followers so suddenly, as none could imagine; furrowed the 
lands of Corstorphin, together with the lands of Strabrock, 
Abercorn and Blackness, and amongst other goods they drave 
away a race of mares that the Earl Douglas had brought 
from Flanders, and were kept in Abercorn, doing more harm 
than he had received. This may seem strange to any man; 
neither do our histories sufficiently clear it, either where he 
got these forces; or whither he carried the goods. They in- 
sinuate, that he was aided and assisted under-hand by Bishop 
Kennedy, and the Earls of Angus and Morton. Angus was 
the King'<; ( ousin-german, son to his father's sister, and (by 
her) brother to the bishop: Morton had married the King's 
own sister. But oi these, the bishop's power lay beyond 
Forth, for he was Archbishop of St. Andrews; and the Earl 
of Angus further, beyond Tay: so it is hard to conceive, 
either how they could suddenly assemble their folks, or 
that they could conveen many, except such as Angus had on 
the south-side of Forth in Liddisdale, Jedburgh-Forest and 
Bonkle; likewise Morton's lands and friends were, most part, 
on the same side of Forth, to make assistance against the 
Earl Douglas. But however apparently, they did it not open- 
ly; and this, it was against order, against authority, and against 
law: and if the Earl Douglas had done it, it would assuredly 
have been called an open rebellion against the King, theft, op- 


prcssion, presumption, arrogancy, insolence and faction, as Wei 
heard it was before, when he contemned the governors Only, 
and as it will be called, perhaps, hereafter. If men allege, that 
the King was guided with the Earl Douglas's counsel, and -his 
name used to a particular only; tell me, I pray you, was there 
ever any thingmore formally than this against Crichton? And if 
the Earl Douglas's particular was in it, what then? how 
many actions of justice are otherwise done without instiga- 
tions of private men? without the mixture of their cause? 
without their particular suiting and particular insisting? and 
if it be lawful to any to seek justice for his own particular, the 
Earl Douglas's particular was such, as very well became him 
to insist in; the wrong so manifest, the murder so vile and 
traiterous. And if that which is done against the laws shall 
not be accounted wrong, nor esteemed to touch the King, 
because parties have their particular in that law, none or few 
things shall be acounted to be done against the King, or 
ao-ainst law; for there is almost ever some particular joined: 
and the same hath been and will be the Earl Douglas's case. 
This therefore cannot be accounted innocence: yea no less 
than open violence, and plain rebellion, and presumption a- 
gainst the Earl, clad now with justice and laws, and against 
the King as protector, and patron of justice. No marvel then 
if the Earl Douglas was offended herewith, both for his own 
cause, whom the loss touched so near, and for such manifest 
contempt of the King, and if therefore he seek to be avenged 

But there was a different form to be used, according to the 
different actors; of which we see there are two sorts, Crichton 
and Livingston were open enemies, open actors; they them- 
selves obnoxious to the law; against them the law will strike^ 
and so he proceeded with them: he besieges openly 
Crichton in the castle of Edinburgh, and no question he had 
taken from him before whatsoever was without it. The 
others, not open enemies, and actors themselves, they were 
but secret stirrers up, abetters and assisters of his enemies; 
and among them Bishop Kennedy was the chief plotter and 


deviser; the law could not well be had against him, he must 
be met with in his own way; he had done besides the law, he 
must be met with besides the law; he had done disavowed- 
ly, be must be met with disavowedly. Therefore he writes 
to tbe Earl of Crawford, who with Alexander Ogilvy of 
Innerwbarity gathered a great host, entered Fife, and with- 
out resistance spoiled the Bishop's lands, either because they 
could not get himself, or because they had a greater mind 
to the booty than to the quarrel. The Bishop using his 
own weapons, curseth them; but they made small reckoning 
of his curses. Nevertheless shortly after there fell vari- 
ance between Crawford's eldest son (the Master of Crawford) 
and the Ogilvies, about the Bailliary of Aberbrothick; for 
the monks had given it from the master to Innerwharity, 
and hereupon having assembled their forces on both sides, 
they were ready to fight it out. But the Earl of Crawford 
having gotten advertisement, came into the field to have 
composed the business, and trusted they would have re- 
spected him, and not have offered him any violence, he 
entered in between the two parties, where having staid his 
son's company, he was going over to speak with the Ogilvies, 
to have brought matters to a parley and treary: in the mean 
time, one that neither knew what he was, nor what his intent 
was, runs at him with a spear and slays him; hereupon the 
battle joining, the victory fell to the master of Crawford, 
there being 500 slain of the Ogilvies side, Alexander O- 
giivy taken, and the Earl of Huntly escaping on horse- 
back. This victory was obtained chiefly by the valour 
of the Clydesdale men, of whom the Earl Douglas had sent a- 
bout 100 to assist the Master of Crawford. This Master of 
Crawford was now Earl, his father being slain, and was , 
called Earl Beardie, of whom there will be mention made 
hereafter, he being that Earl with whom Douglas is said to 
have entered into league; we see there was friendship betwixt 
them now, the Earl's Lady Beatrix being a sister's daughter of 
the house of Crawford, besides the old friend'ship fhat 



had been, ever since the first Earl's time, betwixt the two 

In the mean time the siege of the castle of Edinburgh, 
where Crichton was shut up, had now continued some six or 
seven months, from the midst of July, as appeareth, unto the 
beginning of February in the next year; for there being a 
parliament called, to be held at Perth, it was removed to Edin- 
burgh, that the siege might not be interrupted, and sat down 
in the beginning of February 1445. The siege lasted two 
or three months after, which makes in all some nine months, 
cr thereby: at last both parties, the besieger and besieged, 
being wearied, the castle was surrendered to the King, on con- 
di'ion that Crichton should be pardoned for all his offences 
which he had committed against the King, and should be 
suffered to depart life safe, which was granted unto him. 
Our writers term them the offences which he was said to 
have committed against the King, as if they should say, 
there was no offence indeed done to the King; and more 
plainly a little after, as in all contention, he who is most 
strong would seem to be most innocent: which sayings are to 
be judiciously considered and accurately weighed, whereof 
we have 9poken before; but if they will needs have it so, we 
will not be contentious. Thus Crichton, not so much hurt 
as terrified, escaped due punishment, by means of the castle, 
which could not easily be taken, but by composition. "Whe- 
ther this was through the impatience of the Earl Douglas, that 
would not take leisure to wait on the siege, until they should 
have been forced to yield for want of victuals; or whether 
Crichton hath had some secret friends at court, who did 
make use of this occasion to work his safety, there is no 
mention. But Livingston leaped not so dryshod, being no 
less guilty of his cousin's murder. The Earl had bent his 
just indignation against him also, and caused summon him to 
the parliament of Edinburgh, together with his two sons, James 
and Robert Livingston, (this Robert had been treasurer) 
and David Livingston his cousin; his friends also, Robert 
Bruce of Airth, with James and Robert Dumbs. The 


Lord Livingston himself, with the two Dundases, were con- 
victed, forfeited, and condemned to perpetual prison in the 
castle of Dumbarton. The other three, James and Ro- 
bert his sons, and David his cousin, and Bruce also, were ex- 
ecuted. What the crimes were that were laid to their 
charge, whereof this difference of punishment did arise, it 
is not written either by the old or late historians. This 
appears, that it hath been no particular of the Earl Dou- 
glas, of which the father was most guilty, and that their 
process hath not been guided and ruled by him, nor framed 
according to his spleen, which would have aimed most at the 
the old man, as accessary to the death of his cousins, whereas 
we see he escapes with imprisonment only; his sons are hard- 
licr used, being put to death. So that it must needs have 
been for some other crime, whereof -the Acts of Parliament 
that are extant in print makes no mention or particular ref- 
lation as the form is. And" James Livingston in his speech at 
his death, purgeth himself, as free of all true crime, what by 
being innocent of some, and having obtained a remission of 
others: yet he mentions not what was alledged against him; 
wherefore we must leave it as uncertain. Some conjecture, that 
it was for keeping of some castles and strong houses, and not 
rendering them to the King, being summoned, against an Act 
of Parliament made by Crichton before; by which Act Crichton 
also himself was forfeited afterwards: but we know no 
ground for that opinion. They alledged also another Act 
which only is extant, the other not being extant, and may 
seem to sound something that way, made in the second Parlia- " 
ment, in the year 1488, against the resetting of rebels in castles: 
which imports no keeping out of houses after they be charged 
or summoned to render by the King's officers, but only com- 
mands to arrest their persons, or to take surety and bail for 
them that they do no harm. Neither is there any penalty, much 
less forfeiture, annexed thereto; only it says, they shall be forc- 
ed and constrained to do it. This execution of the Livingstons 
is cast into the year 144-7, after that Queen Mary (the Duke of 
Quelder's daughter) was married to the King, at which time 


it is said that Crichton was also forfeited, notwithstanding he 
had been ambassador in procuring and making that marriage. 
The cause of his forfeiture is given out to be the keeping of 
the castle of Crichton, when it it was summoned and charged 
by a herald of arms, according to, and by virtue of the Act 
foresaid. But we have already spoken of that Act, and we 
find no mention of any Parliament that year. Neither from 
the year 1443, until the year 1449, wherein he should have 
been forfeited. And this we observe, that judgement may 
be adhibited in the reading of those and such like things: 
however Crichton thus dashed, the Livingstons some execut- 
ed, some imprisoned, forfeited, and condemned, there seemed 
to be some compensation for the murder of his cousins; also 
their assister Bishop Kennedy received his part, for it is said 
that he had much ado to save himself, by leaving his goods a 
prey to them that pleased to take them. 

These things are imputed to the Earl Douglas as faults, 
why I cannot tell, unless we require of him that exact philo- 
sophical disposition, to be free from all humour of revenging: 
which few have brought with them that have been conversant 
in the affairs of state or commonwealth; no not those who 
have been accounted as philosophers, and that very precise 
ones, such as were both the Cato's, whose common ordinary 
course was to be avenged of their enemies, by public accusar 
tions and pursuit of law: wherein if there be a fault, let there 
be no law that permits it, yea that allows it, and exhorts un- 
to it. It is recorded of Cato called the Censor, that having 
met a young man in the street, who had accused his father's 
tnemy, and got him, condemned, he cherished and embraced 
Lim, saying, it was far better so to celebrate the funeral of hi* 
father with the tears and condemnation of hi.; adversaries, than 
to sacrifice with kids and lambs. It is natural to men to resent 
injuries, and as natural to seek the repairing of them; and he is 
e xcused who recompenses a wrong received: and he is account- 
ed also just who does it by order and modesty, that hath pa- 
tience to suit it, and abide the delays of a court-suit; it being 
a n can to purge blood out of the land. Nor does either 


philosophy or religion forbid it, but by the contrary commands 
and allows it: only the caution is, that the mind of the pursu- 
er be void of malice, and his eye set upon justice; of which 
intention the searcher of hearts can only be the competent 
judge. If some imperfections and weakness of nature do 
mingle with the action, we must not always for that cither 
utterly reject the action, or condemn the author: but we must 
acknowledge that as right which is right, and pardon the im- 
perfection, which none wants. We must not exclaim against 
it, as if it were nothing but partiality; nor against the doer, as 
merely vindictive, chiefly in a fact so very enormous, as the 
murdering of his cousins was; wherefore if we shali, without 
partiality in ourselves, consider this whole pursuit, and give 
it the right name, we shall call it kindness to his kinsmen; e- 
quity, justice, modesty and patience, rather than wrong and 
malice; and praise him for his kindness, and faithfulness in 
friendship, in revenging their quarrels, which hath been his 
very inclination, as will appear hereafter. Yet not only this 
his just pursuit, but every thing that fell out in the country is. 
laid upon him to brand him: as the slaughter of James Stew* 
art by the Boyds, and the like; the taking of the castle of 
Hales by Patrick Dunbar, which he is said to have taken, and 
killed the keeper thereof, because the Lord Hales had then, 
received the Queen-mother into the castle of Dunbar, who 
had fled hither to eschew the troubles of the times. The 
Earl Douglas, within a few days after, got the castle of Hales 
again, on condition to suffer the said Patrick Dunbar and his 
men to depart with their lives safe. Likewise he is said to 
have constrained Sir James Stewart (the black knight of 
Lorn) who had married the Queen-mother, to go out of the 
country, upon some speeches uttered by the said Sir James a- 
gainst the ill government of the affairs of the kingdom: but 
neither is it set down what the words were, nor what sort of 
constraint was used towards him. This Sir James, as he was 
sailing into France, his ship was taken by the Flemings, and 
he himself died soon after. 
The next year, which was 1448, there fell out war with 


England, and incursions made on both sides by the Borderer?; 
where the Earl Douglas began again after so long an inter- 
mission, viz. from the entry of King Jjmes I. in the year 
1423* the space of twenty-five years to take upon him the 
managing of the war, which his house had ever done, and he 
now also discharging with honour, and following the foot- 
steps of his predecessors; for Dumfries being burnt by the 
Earl of Salisbury, Dunbar spoiled by the Earl of Northum- 
berland, James Douglas the Earl's brother, burnt Alnwick 
in England, where having got great store of booty and 
many prisoners, as the others had done in Scotland, being 
almost equal, the prisoners and goods were changed, by 
consent and agreement of the captains. But this was on- 
ly a small essay before a greater matter, which followed this 
same year, as should seem; yet there was some cessation for a 
while, and truce taken for seven years: in which time the 
Earl, who, as we see, was so zealous in prosecuting the re- 
venge of the wrong done to his cousins, shows another pro- 
perty no less commendable, which is to be as kind and forward 
to advance his friends as he had been to quell his enemies. 

For the same year James Dunbar (Hollinshed calls him 
John) Earl of Murray being dead, first he obtains the said 
Earl's daughter, who was niece to King Robert II. by his 
daughter, for his third brother Archibald; then the title of 
Earl of Murray from the King: notwithstanding that she 
whom his brother had married was but the youngest sister, 
the elder being married before her father's death unto James 
Crichton, of whom the house of Frendraught is descended. 
How it came that he was preferred before Crichton, who mar- 
ried the elder sister; whether because the tides of Earls do 
not go by succession unto the heirs of line, bat by the plea- 
sure of the Prince, and that he had more court than Crich- 
ton; or whether there was some respect also had to the kin- 
dred; or whatever cause there were of it, it gave matter of 
speech to his enviers; and to our histories it hath furnished 
matter of censure, as a wrong done to the elder sister, to 
whom they think it belonged. He obtained also his fourth 


brother Hugh to be made Earl of Ormond; and his fifth 
brother John to be Lord of Balveny, and baron thereof, with 
many rich and fruitful lands. In which actions of his, when 
men can find no ground of alledging that he did any wrong, 
they blame him as immoderate, in augmenting too much the 
greatness of his house. 

Wherein I cannot but praise his kindness and carefulness, 
in preferring of his friends by all lawful means, which is a 
duty standeth with wisdom, and a right wisdom; neither was 
it ever, or can it be ever justly discommended, where there 
is no injury committed: whereas not to do it, if a man be a* 
ble, and not ;o seem to do so, proceeds either of carelessness, 
or, that which is worse, wickedness, self-love, and in some, 
envy and malignity, even to their own frjend3. Which kind 
of doing deserves no commendation, when it is but careless- 
ness; far Jess when it is done of malice; last of all, when men 
do not only not labour to advance their friend:;, but even en- 
deavour to keep them under, by a point of wisdom which 
they think very deep, that they may remain servants to them; 
fearing th2t if they come to any preferment, they would not 
be so ready to serve them, and might perhaps grow up abovp 
them. This humour, as it is malignant, and an ill disposi- 
tion, so it is no great good wisdom, whatsoever "subtility it 
may seem to have in it; for they advert not, that they hinder 
them who would stand them in stead, and cut them short in 
power to be steadible to them, and so cut down the props of 
their own standing, and such as would support them in their 
need and necessity. And while they fear that their friends 
outstrip them, they give place and matter to their enemies to 
overtop them both. Now the fear which they apprehend of 
their friends neglecting their duty to them, is very far oft; 
and if ever it come to pass, it should not be envied, provid- 
ing that kindness remain among them, though they should 
grow greater than they, and howbeit they answered not our 
expectation in kindness, except it were joined with extremity 
of wickedness, and perhaps not then neither; ought we to re- 
pent or repine, it being much more tolerable than to be over- 


matched by an enemy, as it often falleth out, and can hardly 
choose but fall out, wheel a house standeth alone by itself, 
having no honest member thereof to underprop and uphold 
it. Besides, while men thus seek to make their friends alto- 
gether servile to them, their friends perceiving it, as it can 
hardly but be perceived, whatever cunning be used to cover 
if, are more averse to serve, as men's nature is, in whom 
love-service questionless is" the best, yea only fruitful service: 
and therefore, they will either repine the more, or withdraw 
themselves altogether, if they be of any spirit; and if they be 
not, their service is not worth having. So that men lose e- 
ven their service which they so affect, and sometimes turn it 
by unkindness, into unkindlincss and enmity, which hath e- 
ver been found by experience: neither did ever any house 
flourish so well, or any man in any house, as when they con- 
curred with one mind to a mutual help one of another; and 
none ever prospered so well as he, who used and showed his 
care not to keep back his friends, or to neglect them, but to 
advance them, and take their business to heart as his own. 

This is a true pattern of kindness, and no less of true wis- 
dom; howsoever men may subtilize as they please, which is 
seriously and sincerely followed by our Earl of Douglas, and 
deserveth both commendation and imitation. Neither will it 
be found that this is it which did him hurt, but questionless 
made him strong, and not easy to be meddled with, and so 
difficult, thut they could get no other mean to overthrow him, 
but that which they used, unto which they were forced, and 
of which constraint is the only excuse, as we shall see when 
he is slain. Therefore, to say his greatness was the cause of 
his wreck, is more subtile than solid; even as it may be said, 
in some sort, that a man's riches are the cause of his throat 
being cut by robbers, and that a man's virtues and good 
qualities are oft-times the cause of his overthrow, which should 
not, for all that, be eschewed. But shall there then be no 
moderation? will some say, and iiit not fit that subjects should 
keep themselves within some certain bounds, that are not en- 
vious, or suspect to princes? Moderation is good both in prince 


and subject; and it were to be wished that all would moder- 
ate their greatness, at least their appetite and desire of great- 
ness; or if not that, yet so that they would limit the means' of 
attaining it, and the end for which they desire it; and that 
they would have that wise conference of Cyneas with Pyrrhus 
before their eyes, that they might less affect it, or less err in 
affecting of it: but where the end is good, and the mean 
right and lawful, who craves further moderation and limita- 
tion, whether in princes or subjects, of their empire, as Au- 
gustus, or of their greatness, as this Earl here, and many o- 
thers, whatsoever show it carry, and however histories speak 
thereof; besides their moderation that duty and religion re- 
quires, in so far as touches policy, wiil be found but sophistry, 
and no good policy, when it is well examined. In all this 
therefore we can acknowledge no fault; but on the contrary, 
kindness, effectual friendship, and a due and provident wisdom 
in strengthening himself against his enemies, and underprop- 
ping his house most wisely and most circumspectly. 

Where is then his fault? ye will say, and what was the cause 
of his ruin? for we find he was ruined in the end. Truly we 
must not account of all that have fallen, that they have fault- 
ed; that is a great error in our judgements, and too common; 
that by finding faults in others, we may be thought the wis- 
est; yet it is not hard to find his fault, if we will believe his 
enemies speeches set down by our historians; for though his 
friends fear nothing, and see nothing but his greatness, which 
is but a vain fear, his enemies see further, as enemies are 
quicker sighted in faults, or would seem to espy further: in 
their speech ye shall find these gross and lewd faults; 1. An 
insatiable cupidity, and then they explain in what, in avarice, 
2. Then an impotent tyranny, two great faults, tyranny and 
avarice, sufficient to bring down, and such as has often brought 
down Kings as well as subjects. And that we may not think 
that there was but an idle disposition in him, and but a natu- 
ral inclination, which he bridled, and suffered not to debord, 
they tell us the effects of them. 1. Of his avarice, and that 
unjust, as all avarice is, if it be properly avarice, he seized om 



History of the 

noblemen's patrimonies, he himself by law, and without law. 
2. Of his tyranny and oppression, he gave the patrimony of 
mean men, as a prey to his dependers; and yet further, them 
that withstood his pleasure, he herried, 'or caused make away 
by thieves or brigands; he advanced new men to the highest 
honours, placing them in the room of ancient families. If 
any man spake a free word, tasting of liberty, it cost him no 
less than his life. These faults indeed are great ones, if they 
were true, and such as merited that their end should have 
been as it was; these are indeed errors both in policy and hu- 
manity, in private men or in princes, in small or great, in 
whatever person; and they were worthy to be detested, and 
abominated by all men, if they were true, for our authors say 
not that they were true. I say again, if they were true ex- 
pressly; for they do but report them as the voice of his ene- 
mies, who did exaggerate things as enviously as they could, 
as that, amongst other speeches of theirs, doth witness, where 
they say, that all the riches of the country were heaped upon 
one family, that there were so many great Earis and Barons 
of them, that they had so much power and potency, that the 
King reigned but by their license and courtesy, as it were. 
As for the author's own judgement hereof, besides what he 
said before* that they were amplified in the most odious man- 
ner, he subjoins these and such like speeches as those, many 
of them were true, many besides the truth, and augmented 
above k, to procure hatred unto them. So he leaves the 
judgement uncertain, and tells not what things were true, and 
what false and augmented, which we ought to discern and 
separate, if it be possible, to make a right judgement: for this 
is indeed the craft of calumny, to mingle truth with false- 
hood, that something being known to be true, the rest may 
pass for such also. But prudence will sift and separate them, 
and winnow them in a right judgement, both that which is 
true, from that which is false, and in every point laid against 
him, so much as it hath of truth, from that falsehood which 
is mingled with it; for calumniators are excellent in their 
niixtuies and compositions of truth and falsehood} so that 


there is great attentiveness required to distinguish betwixt 
them; yet if we will attend to them, it may be they will be 
discerned. Let us then consider the par ticulars r and what 
particulars we find in any of those to be true, let us acknow- 
ledge it; what is not so, let us reject as false, and reckon a- 
mongst those thac are but amplified and augmented for envy: : 
after which rule we shall find in effect the last three to be 
those which are most true; 1. The riches; 2. The number; 3. 
The puissance of the house and name of Douglas: and yet not 
simply true as they set them down, for they amplify them aU 
so to stir envy, unless we interpret it favourably: for not all 
the riches of the country, nor all the honour was in their 
hands, though there were more in theirs than in any others 
at that time; yet there hath been more, both riches and hon- 
ours, in the hands of some other before; for the Cu minings 
are accounted to have been greater, and that their power was 
beyond the King's power: it was false, their power being but 
a dependent and subordinate, and could not be supposed to 
have been so great, so united, though they were of one name, 
as was seen afterwards. And however we find it was thought 
so of before in the first Earl's time, yet he never used it to 
the King's prejudice, after that he was informed of his right, 
which was now out of question, but these carry no fault 
in them. The rest which carry fault in them, the first two, 
avarice and tyranny, are to be tried by the effects: the third, 
taking to himself the noblemen's patrimony, by law and besides 
law. What he did by law take from them was not theirs? what 
besides law, we hear of no instance given. There is a fact may 
seem so in the Earldom of Murray, which he took not to him- 
self, but to his brother: neither was that the patrimony, but the 
title and dignity, of which we have spoken already, and it 
was but a small matter. The fourth and fifth, bis killing and 
robbing by thieves, and his depemders invading of other men's 
patrimonies,' are of the same qualify; for we hear of no in- 
stance, bearing any wrong; neitner of the sixth and seventh, 
advancing of new men wrongfully or killing of men for free 
speeches. And truly raising of new and mean men was the 
thing that he and his house did ever dislike very much, and 


was the ground of their discord with the Livingstons and 
Crichton. And I hope no man will call his brother a new 
man. So that to be short, when we have-sjfted them all, we 
see nothing but falsehood and calumnies, anil aggravations to 
move envy, which makes it no truth, for a truth augmented 
or diminished, is no longer truth, though otherwise it were 
true in substance. 

Wherefore, leaving these speeches as the speeches of his 
enemies, that is to say, for calumnies, as they are called, and 
as they are indeed, we will coroe to that which is of greater 
weight, and follows in the author's own name, Animus per 
sc insolenS) he was of an insolent mind of himself, saith one, 
which being the judgement of one of the mest learned and 
judicious writers, I will not contest, but leave it in the mid- 
dle, and soberly crave to have it weighed, that we may see 
whether there be any necessity to make us think so or not, 
for it is historical only which I must think he hath found in 
fact as he hath had leisure and perused his histories, of 
which we are scarce, viz. That he grew by success to that 
impotency of commanding his affections, that he had his ears 
closed from the free admonitions of his friends. Nothing is 
more pernicious, nor is there a more certain prognostic of 
ruin to follow, than when men are so puft up wit.h the opin- 
ion of their own wisdom, that they disdain and contemn to 
hear, and to weigh the judgement of others: yet this that 
follows is an extreme high degree of it, that men might not 
dissemble their minds in silence, to hold their peace at those 
things which they could not approve, was not sure nor safe 
for them, which ought to be safe for all men to say nothing 
and keep their minds to themselves and God, which no other 
man, no not a man's self can command altogether: he is obe- 
dient that obeys in the rest: the mind is his that made it, and 
can search it, over which no man should usurp. The cause 
of all this ill follows, the abundance of flatterers, and giving 
ear to them; a natural, but a pestiferous fault, natural to all 
great men, and small, in their own kind: men are given to 
delight in what they believe, and to believe easily most good of 


shcmselves, whom they love most of any, and for abundance of 
flatterers who wants them. Diogenes said he had his own 
parasites; the mouse was, if men failed: yea, men never fail, 
and perhaps failed not him. He whom all the world flatter- 
ed, Alexander did he not flatter Diogenes? What was his 
speech to him but a flattery both of himself and Diogenes? 
or else an error concerning them both, when he said, 
if I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes. So com- 
mon is it, so natural is it; but notwithstanding it is hurtful 
and to be avoided, and the more carefully to be taken 
heed of, the more common and the more natural it is: he 
hath the fairest of the play that is most wary of it, and ac- 
counts it his greatest perfection, to know his imperfection; 
and he is most accomplished that best knows his defecrs, and 
wishes for helps, and knows he hath need of them. Out of 
doubt these were enough to bring down more than one Earl 
of Douglas. As for that which is further said of him; his old 
enemies were drawn to law to plead their cause before the 
same man, both judge and party, of whom many were spoiled 
of their goods, some of their lives; some, to eschew the un- 
just judgement, took voluntary exile unto them; and that 
which is said of their dependers, they overshot themselves, 
careless of all judgements, because none could contend with 
them in judgement, to all sort of licentiousness, robbing and 
stealing holy things, profane things, andslayingthem theycould 
get their hands over: neither kept they any bridle or meas- 
ure in their wickedness. Of all this concerning his depend- 
ers, being so generally and almost hyperbolically conceived, 
I could wish among so many, that there had been some in- 
stance set down, that we might the better have known it, 
and discerned it. This, I am sure cannot be without hyper- 
bole: that they did commit some gratuitous wickedness, that 
is, such as was for no good to them nor profit, and without 
gain, pleasure or profit, having no cause in the world for 
them, but only to keep their hands in use of wickedness, lest 
being disaccustomed from ill, some honest thought might 
come into their mind that might tame them from their wick- 


edness and vileness. So strange a conclusion would have 
had clear and plain antecedents and not a few of those. It is 
hard to believe this upon any man's word, chiefly such a one 
as lived not in those times, nor was eye-witness, as we / say of 
things, who by such speeches would have us to conceive more 
than he could, or by any could be expressed in words. But 
what one man could only gather out of histories, we might 
also have gathered by the same history, if he had named his 
authors, or shown the way of his collecting it from thence. 
But there being no footsteps of such enormities in the histor- 
ies which we have, that can lead us to this, I know not if we 
be bound so to reverence any man's person, as to receive it ab- 
solutely. That which follows is of the same kind, wherein 
the evils of those times are amplified, that it fell out well for 
Scotland that England had their own civil wars in those days, 
otherwise Scotland had sunk under the burden: for first, 
their civil wars from this time, which was from 1444, until 
144S, were not great, and but secret grudgings only, The 
commotion of Blue-Beard was not until 1449, and in Kent by 
John Cade in 1450; then the foreign wars with England 
might have moved the discord at home, as they had done often, 
and men fit for warlike employment, and given to arms, 
should have had matter to exercise themselves upon the com- 
mon enemy, who in time of peace, for want of such employ- 
ment as they are inclined to, are the cause of much evil at 
home. Last of all, we find the contrary by experience; for 
notwithstanding of these dissentions and disorders, yet they 
obtained a notable victory over the English, by the same 
Douglases, who were accounted so disorderly in time of 
of peace, but have ever proved in the eyes of all men hon- 
ourable and dutiful in war, their enemies not being able tQ 
detract from their manifest and evident worth, 

The occasion of this victory fell out thus, we heard how 
after the burning of Alnwick by James Douglas, younger 
brother to the Earl, a truce was made for seven years; not- 
withstanding which, in this year, as would seem, or in the 
next at farthest, the English, without any regard of the truce 
made inroads upon Scotland, spoiled^ furrowed, and burnt the 



villages far and wide where they went, which the Scots would 
not suffer to pass unrevenged: wherefore to cry quit with 
them, they entered England, and returned unto them as much 
hurt as they had received; and the storm fell chiefly upon 
Cumberland, from whence the beginning of the troubles hid 
arisen, which was by this incursion almost reduced to a wil- 
derness. When news hereof were brought to Loudon, they 
gave order for levying tjf an army of 40,000 men, as 
some write, intending to bring Scotland under their subjec- 
tion, which they thought would not be hard to do; in respect 
the country had been so lately wasted and impoverished as 
also for that they knew their divisions at home: therefore 
having made a levy of the best and choice soldiers the 
Earl of Northumberland is made general, and there was ioin- 
ed with him a certain man, called Magnus (only a gentle- 
man born) who had given good proof of his valour many 
times in France, where he had been brought up, and trained 
in the wars from his youth. This man bearing great hatred 
to the Scots and being too confident of his own sufficiency 
is said to have obtained of the King of England, for the re- 
ward of his service, whatever lands he could win from them 
for himself and his heirs in perpetual inheritance. He was 
remarkably by his long and red beard, and was therefore 
called by the English, Magnus Red-beard, and by the Scots 
in derision, Magnus with the red mane, as tho' his beard had 
been a horse's mane, because of the length and thickness 
thereof. The manuscript calleth him Magnus with the red 
hand, taking the word mane, for the French word, which 
signifieth an hand: but the attentive reader may perceive the 
error, and how it was a word merely Scotch, and used by the 
Scots in derision. 

The King of Scots hearing of this preparation in England, 
caused also levy an army, whereof he made the Earl of Or- 
mond (George or rather Hugh Douglas, general, who im- 
mediately went into Annandale, through which; UieEncrlisii 
army was to come. Both side:, being thus prepared, tlWEn- 
glish having past the rivers of Solway and Aiihan, pitch their 


camp upon the brink of the water of Sark. The Scots inarch- 
ed towards them; and they hearing of their approach, made 
themselves ready; so that being come within sight of one 
another, they ranged their men in order of battle. In the 
right wing of the English army was this Magnus with the 
red mane, in the left Sir John Pennington with the Welsh- 
men; the middle battle was led by the Earl of Northumber- 
land himself. On the Scots side was the Earl of Ormond in 
the middle battle over against Northumberland, and William 
Wallace of Craigie opposed Magnus, and against Sir John 
Pennington was placed the knight of Carlaverock, called 
Maxwell, and Johnston of Johnston, with many inland gen- 
tlemen, saith the manuscript, because they had no great con- 
fidence in their own Annandale men, who were more set 
upon spoil than victory. Ormond exhorteth the army in 
few words, telling them, that they had great reason to hope 
for the victory, because they had taken arms, being provoked 
thereto; and that 'it could not be, but that so just a cause 
should have a happy event? Only behave yourselves val- 
iantly, abate the pride of the enemy with a notable defeat, 
and so you shall reap a long lasting fruit of a short travel. 
When the English archers did annoy the Scots, with their 
arrows from afar, William Wallace cried out with a loud 
voice, so as he was heard by his followers, why should we 
stand still thus to be wounded afar off? follow me, says he, 
and let us join in hand-strokes, where true valour is to be 
seen: and so marching forward, and the rest following his 
example, they made so fierce an onset, that they quite over- 
threw the right wing thereof. Magnus perceiving that, 
being more mindful of his honour acquired in time past than 
of the present danger, resolved either to restore the battle, 
or lose his life with credit, pressed forward against Wallace of 
Craigie, to have encountered him; but ere he could come at 
him, he was encompassed about by the Scotsmen, and slain: 
his death put the English in such a fear, for they had great 
confidence in his valour and conduct, that they, without 
any further resistance, turned their backs, and fled in great 


■disorder. The Scots pursued so fiercely and eagerly that 
there was more of the enemies slain in the chase, than in the 
battle, chiefly upon the brink of the river of Solway, where 
the tide being come in, the river was not passable, and such 
as adventured to take it were drowned. There were slain in 
this battle 3000 English, and amongst those their great Mag- 
nus, and the Scots deadly enemy, who had presumed so of 
victory. A notable example to teach men not to be over 
confident in things of such uncertain events as are the 
wars; and as our proverb is, Not to sell the bear's skiti before 
he be slain. There were slain besides him eleven knights of 
good account and note: of the Scots were lost but 600. There 
were taken prisoners a great number, amongst whom were Sir 
John Pennington, and Sir Robert Harrington knights, and the 
Lord Piercy son to the Earl of Northumberland, whilst he 
helped his father to his horse, who thereby escaped taking. 
There was also so great store of spoil got, as no man remem- 
bered so much to have been got at any battle before: for 
the English, trusting to their number, and the strength 
of their army, together with the opinion of their enemies' 
weakness, through dissention and variance, as they supposed, 
had brought with them their best furniture, and richest stuff", 
in full assurance of victory. "Wallace of Craigie being sore 
wounded in the fight, was carried home, and died within 
three months after. The Earl of Ormond having gotten thi* 
honourable victory, conveyed the chiefest of the prison- 
ers to Lochmaben, and then repaired to court, where he was 
joyfully met, and received of all, with all sort of honour that 
could be, envy herself not daring to open her mouth against 

The King did highly commend him for this exploit, and 
exhorted him and the Earl Douglas his brother, that as their 
predecessors had often, as they also had done, defended the 
estate of Scotland with their labours and virtue, in most 
perilous times, and had given large proof, of their valour 
and courage; that so they would at home accustom them- 
' . Ll 



selves to modesty, that tliey themselves would abstain, and that 
they would contain their friends from injuries toward the 
weaker sort: their power and puissance, which they had acquir- 
ed by so many of their deserts towards their Kings, his prede- 
cessors; and the country, that they would employ it rather in 
suppressing of robbers and disorderly men, than to make more 
such by conniving at them; that this only was lacking to their 
full praise, which if they would add, they should find by ex- 
perience there was nothing more dear unto him than the ad- 
vancement of the house and name of Douglas. 'To this the 
Earl Douglas replied, he being the elder brother, and find- 
ing that this speech was chiefly directed to him, with great 
submission, and promised to do as his Majesty had exhorted 
them: and so they were dismissed, and returned home to 
their own houses with great honour and applause both of 
Prince and people, to whom they had by this victory pur- 
chased great quietness: for neither were the English border- 
ers able to invade them any more, nor the King of England 
to send down a new army (which fain he would have done) 
by reason of the civil war which ensued shortly after at home: 
so that he chose rather to have peace with Scotland, in regard 
of the case he was then in, than war: wherefore he sent ambas- 
sadors, and obtained a truce for three years, the Scots think- 
ing it no less expedient for them, in a case not unlike to his, 
through intestine dissention, though not open insurrection a- 
gainst the King. For notwithanding all this service done to 
the King and country, the malice of such as were the ene- 
mies of the Douglasses was no whit abated; nay, their worth, 
the more it was shown, and the more brightly that it did 
shine, it did so much the more stir envy in their ill-willers, 
whose secret practices still continued, and whose credit in 
court seemed still to increase against them. Crichton, who 
before had been sent ambassador to Charles VII. of France, 
for procuring a wife to the King, had concluded a match for 
him with Mary daughter to Arnold Duke of Guelders, who, 
by her mother the Duke of Burgundy's sister, was come of 
the Blood-Royal of France, was now returned into Scotland 


with her in the year 144-8. This service and her favour 
increased his credit greatly with the King; which the Earl 
Douglas perceiving, was nothing pleased with it; but being 
discontented, obtaining leave of the King, he withdrew himself 
from court, seeing his error of having been contented that 
Crichton should be employed in that honourable message, 
thinking himself well rid of him by this his absence; which 
practice of court succeedeth sometimes happily, as it did 
against the Boyds in King James Illd's time in the very 
like case, yet it did not so now, but turned to the greater ad- 
vantage and advancement of his enemy. Crichton was well 
contented with his retiring, esteeming it his gain to be so rid 
of him from the King's ear and presence. 

Whilst they concorded thus in their discord, both willing 
one thing in so contrary minds, to wit, the Earl Douglas's, ab- 
sence, there fell out an accident that occasioned his longer 
absence, not from the court only, but out of the country also. 
Richard Colvill of Ochiltree was an enemy, and bare deadly 
feud to John Auchinleck of Auchinleck, a friend and depender 
of the Earl Douglas, whom the Earl having sent for to come to 
him to Douglas castle, for such business as he had to do with 
him, the said Richard having notice of the said Auchinleck's 
journey, notwithstanding he knew he went towards the Earl, 
whether stirred up by the Earl's enemies at court, or to put 
an affront upon him, or leaning to their credit for impunity, 
or out of impatience or presumption, or contempt of the Earl 
in respect of his withdrawing from court, not regarding him, 
or fearing his displeasure or anger % he lay in wait for him by 
the way, and set upon him with a number of armed men, 
where after some small conflict, Auchinleck was slain, 
and divers of his friends and servants with him. The Earl 
Douglas having notice hereof, the fact touching him so near- 
ly in the person of his friend and follower in his service, 
coming towards him, and sent for by him, he was so incen- 
sed therewith, that whether distrusting the ordinary course 
of justice, as wherein he might be eluded by his enemies then 
guiders of court, or impatient of delay, or not accounting ii 


so honourable for him, nor so awful an example to other?, 
concluding immediately to revenge it, and vowing solemnly 
he should be avenged before he either ate or drank, he took 
horse immediately, and with the readiest of his friends rode 
to the castle of Ochiltree, forced it, and slew the said Richard 
Colvill, and all the males within the castle that were come 
to the age of men. This opened the mouths of men divers- 
ly, according to their divers humours, some condemning his 
cruelty, some commending his courage, some saying that he 
had gone too far and done too much, others that he could do 
no less; that he had just cause, and that he had been ill used, his 
friend slain, his honour interested; that such kind of justice 
best became him. His enemies at court, took hold of it, 
aggravating it to the King, calling it an insolent fact, against 
law and custom! and however Colvill had deserved it, which 
they could not deny, yet it was a perilious example, prejudi- 
cial to all order, and to the King, to whom the punishing of 
such things belonged; so that the King became highly offend- 
ed thereat. 

Hereupon the Earl Douglas, partly to give place to his 
prince's anger, partly upon some remorse, as all blood hath 
ever some touch and sting of conscience with it, the next 
year being the year of jubilee, procured a licence from the 
King to go to Rome, pretending he would do penance for 
the said slaughter; but, as his enemies did interpret it, to 
shew his greatness to foreign princes and nations. Before he 
took his journey, having a care of his house, and being out of 
hope to have children of his own, as having been seven or 
eight years married without children, he procured his second 
brother James to be received by the King, and confirmed in 
the Earldom after himself. There went with him in com- 
pany a great number of noblemen and gentlemen, such as the 
Lord Hamilton, Gray, Salton, Seton, Oliphant and Forbes; 
also Calder, Urquhart, Campbell, Fraser, Lawders of Crom- 
arty, Philorth and Bass, Knights, with many other Gentle- 
men of great account. He went first to Flanders, and from 
thence by land to Paris, where he was honourably received by 


the King of France, whom some call Lewis XI. but it must 
needs be Charles VII. who lived till the years 1460, some ten 
years after this jubilee, which behoved to be in the year 1450. 
The remembrance of the good service done by his uncle at 
Bauge, and his grandfather at divers times, and, at last, for 
spending his life for him at Vernoil, was not yet worn out of 
Charles's memory, in regard whereof, and for the place he 
carried, and the public league between the countries, he omitted 
no kind of honour undone to him that was fit for his quality 
and rank. From thence he took his journey towards Rome, 
which was filled with the expectation of his coming. He 
had taken from Paris with him his youngest brother George, 
a young man, who was there at schools, and of whom there 
was great expectation; but he died by the way, to his'great grief. 
He is said by the manuscript to have been nominated bishop 
of Dunkeld; and that he was to be inagurated at Rome. 
Buchanan also saith it, perhaps following the manuscript; but 
they both forget that his eldest brother Henry is said by the 
same manuscript, in the life of their father, to have been 
bishop of Dunkeld; and this George died before he was fif- 
teen years of age. I take it also to be an oversight in the 
same Buchanan, that he saith that this George was destinated 
to be Earl by the King's permission, after his brother, who 
had no children; for it is against reason, that he being young- 
est of many brethren, worthy men, should have been prefer- 
red before them, while he was but yet a child at school. 

While the Earl was thus in his pilgrimage, his enemies slept 
not at home, but, taking the opportunity of his absence, did 
both blame him at the King's hand, by all invention they 
Could devise, and stirred up such of the common people as had 
received any wrong of any man, to complain to the King, 
alledging they had received it by the Earl of Douglas's friends 
or servants, and by such ways moved the King to cause seek 
Symington, then baillie to the Earl in Douglasdale, and to cite 
and summon him to answer to such crimes as were laid to the 
Earl's charge, for the actions perhaps of his dependers and 
clients } or at least for such things as his Lord had neither 


commanded, neither perhaps heard of. Symington looking 
for no equity at their hands who moved such a citation, choos- 
ed not to come into judgement, suffering things to pass rather 
for ncn-compearance, than to compear, not knowing the 
state of things, or how to answer, having neither knowledge 
of them by himself, nor direction, nor information from his 
Lord. Upon this occasion his enemies laid hold, interpreted 
this his non-compearance in the most odious sort, and called 
it contumacy, and what grievous name tbey could devise; so 
they moved the King to send his servants to apprehend him, 
and would gladly have proceeded with all extremity against 
him, exclaiming against his presumptuous contempt of the 
King, and telling the King* that his royal authority was be- 
come a mockery, and despised by every base fellow; that by 
his lenity be did but foster the malapertness of the wicked, 
sort; that by impunity new doors were opened to new mis- 
doers; with such other speeches, in the most vehement man- 
ner they could, to have dipped the King in blood, and cut off 
all hope, as far as in them lay, of reconcilement betwixt 
them. But he, not being so far alienated as yet from Doug- 
las, howbeit the complaints of so many had stirred up some 
dislike, and taken impression in his mind, was not moved 
with their speeches to that high degree, but persisted in his 
opinion to satisfy the complainers in their losses of goods by 
goods, but not to meddle with any man's blood: wherefore 
he caused Symington to be set at liberty, and commanded him 
only to satisfy the complainers. But he who could neither 
answer without information, nor satisfy without direction, 
humbly besought his Majesty, that since he had not informa- 
tion, and could not answer, being but a servant, and unac- 
quainted with business; seeing also he was not collector of his 
master's rents, but only commander of his servants, it would 
please him to delay the matter till his Lord returned, whom 
he expected within few months, who he doubted not, both 
could and would answer to whatsoever complaint, and satisfy 
sufficiently at hts Prince's plensure, whatsoever damage he 
should have been found to uo to any man. This seemed 


most reasonable, that the Earl himself should be heard first,and 
not condemned unheard, and in his absence; and there could 
be no great prejudice in a short delay. Wherefore the King 
condescended to it, and yet notwithstanding, being importun- 
ed by the multitude of new complaints, he sent William Sin- 
clair Earl of Orkney, a near cousin to the Earl of Douglas, 
being chancellor for the time, to intromit with his goods and 
rents in Galloway and Douglas, to satisfy complainers there- 
with: but it was to no purpose, for he was eluded, and almost 
mocked by the tenants. He alledged, and reported to the 
King, that was done by the instigation of the Earl of Or- 
mond, that he was so frustrate; for the Earl Douglas had com- 
mitted to him the managing of his estate in his absence, and 
he greatly disdained that Orkney, being so near of blood and 
alliance to them, should have undertaken that charge. The 
King irritated herewith, as a contempt of his authority; 
caused heralds to be directed, or pursevants, to summon 
all the name of Douglas, and their favourers, to compear up- 
on a certain day, and the Earl himself within threescore days* 
which being expired, and none compearing, they were de- 
nounced rebels. Then the King himself went with an army in- 
to Galloway, where, at his first entry, having forced their cap- 
tains to retire to their strengths, a small number of his host 
whilst they followed the rebels uncircumspectly through strait 
places, were beaten back upon the King, not without some 
disgrace. The King moved with great indignation hereat, 
went and assaulted their chief forts; and first he took the 
castle of Lochmaben without great trouble or travel; thereafter 
with great toil and wearying of his men, the castle of Douglas, 
which he razed to the ground. He commanded the farmers, 
tenants and labourers of the ground, to pay their rents to his 
collectors, until such time as the complainers were satisfied 
with their Lord's goods. 

These things being reported, (thus as they were done) to 
the Earl Douglas, while he was yet at Rome, moved him 
greatly, and greatly astonished them that were in his com- 
pany; so that many withdrew themselves, fearing what it might 


turn to; and he, with the few that remained with him, made 
what haste they could homeward. 

As he came through England, he was honourably enter- 
tained by the King and Queen there: But when he approach- 
ed near to the borders of Scotland, he staid a little time, 
and sent his brother James before to try the King's mind to- 
wards him; which when he found to be placable, he returned 
home, was kindly received, and lovingly admonished to put 
away from him disorderly persons, especially the men of An- 
nandale, who had in his absence committed many outrages and 
cruelties. This when he had faithfully promised to perform, 
he was not only received into his former place of favour, but 
was also made lieutenant-general of the whole kingdom of 
Scotland. And this was the bitter fruit of his perilous pilgrim- 
age, that hereby he loosed the reins to his enemies, and gave 
them power so far to prevail, as to embark the King in open 
quarrel against him, even to the casting down of his houses, 
and introinitting with his revenues. This notwithstanding was 
either his wisdom, or the account and respect of his place and 
person, that the King, who had done him such harm and dis- 
grace, could be contented so to forget it, receiving him so far 
into favour, and advancing him, whatever blame or imputation 
may be laid upon him for his journey which was so rashly 
taken on, and which had so dangerous a sequel, yet this retreat 
from that storm cannot but be commended, and his dexterity 
whatever it were, acknowledged to have been great, which 
guided him through such billows and surges to so peaceable a 
port and haven. And it were to be wished that writers had 
set down by what means this was brought to pass, for the more 
perfect understanding of the history. But we must bear with 
this amongst many other defects that are to be found in 

Now whatever wisdom, though undescribed in the parti- 
cular, may appear to be in this, as much unadvisedness is evi- 
dent in that which he did immediately after, in his journey to 
England; for, without acquainting the King, he went to the 
tourt of England, and had privy conference with that King, 


r : nd Queen; he pretended that it was for restitution of some 
goods taken out of Scotland, and not restored by the wardens 
of England; but this cause, the lighter it was, the greater sus- 
picion did it move in his own King, who could not think it 
probable, that he being of that place, of that courage, of that 
nature, would, upon such an occasion only, take such a jour- 
ney. The true cause is thought to be, that he went to treat 
of certain conditions for his assistance to be given to the King 
of England against his nobility, with whom he was then in ha<-d 
terms, the wars of the house of York beginning to spring up, 
which increased afterward so mightily, and prevailed, to the 
ejecting him out of his kingdom. 

This the Queen of England either foreseeing, or fearing some 
other such like enterprise against her husband, had dealt with 
the Earl Douglas when he came home through England from 
Rome the year before, to strengthen them by his help, and ap- 
pointed him to return for performance, and perfecting of all 
conditions of agreement. But we find no effect of this agree« 
ment and conditions, whether because that conspiracy of the 
Duke of York was not yet come to maturity, and so Dougla9 
Was not employed, being prevented by death, which fell out 
shortly after this; or because they were not fully agreed, is un- 
certain: neither is it specified what the conditions were, only 
it is corjectured that they were the same, or such like as the 
same King Henry VI. granted afcerward to the Earl of Angus 
in the time of James III. which if they were, they were no- 
ways prejudical to the King of Scotland, as shall appear there, 
yet being done without his knowledge, it gave occasion either 
to the natural jealousy of princes to think hardly of it, by his 
own mere motion, or to his enemies, so to construct it to the 
King, and stir him up by their speeches to that suspicion which 
he inclined to, of both which he ought to have been wary and 
not to have given such ground to the one, or to the other, by 
such a journey undertaken without the King's allowance. 

Whether at his return he acquainted the King with what 
had past betwixt him and the King of England is not certain, 
and our writers seem to say the contrary; yet in that he 

M ra 


brought letters from the Queen of England to the Queen of 
Scotland, and she thereupon interceded for him: it is not im- 
probable that he hath acquainted her, and also the King with 
the truth of the whole business; which whether the King 
did not believe, or if his jealousy remained not the less; and 
that he was not willing there should be such an accession and 
increase of the Earl's greatness, who, he thought was greater 
already than was safe for a King. He pardoned him the 
fault at the intercession of the Queen and some nobles; but he 
took from him the office of lieutenant, and all other public 
charge, that so he might be made unuseful and unserviceable to 
the King of England, or at least not so able to aid him, and so 
he might be frustrate of the conditions so liberally promised 
unto him from thence. He restored also his old enemy Crich- 
ton to the office of chancellor, and the Earl of Orkney was 
made lieutenant. Thus not only disappointed of his hopes, but 
disgraced at his Prince's hands, both by being himself depress- 
ed, and his enemies advanced, he was incensed against all the 
courtiers, taking all to proceed from their instigation. But 
more especially his anger was bent against Crichton, both as 
the ancient enemy of his house, and also as the chief author 
of all this present disgrace, by his surmisings; transported here- 
with, he gave way to his passion to carry him to a course some- 
what more than civil, which until that time he had tempered, 
retaining it with the bridle of equity, and himself within the 
compass of the laws. Now whether alogether, and only for 
these causes foresaid, or if irritated by a new occasion of mali- 
cious speeches uttered by Crichton, that the kingdom of Scot- 
land would never be at rest so long as the house of Douglas 
was on foot; that in the ruin thereof stood the good of the 
realm, and peace of all estates; that it was necessary a man of 
so turbulant a nature, so puissant and powerful by his kin- 
dred and alliance, whom no benefits could appease, nor hon- 
ours satiate, should be cut off, and the public peace estab- 
lished by his death; or if Crichton contrived this speech to 
make Douglas the more odious, and his own quarrel seem the 
luster against him (for both are written) so it is, that the Earl 


caused certain of his friends and servants ly in wait for him as 
he was riding from Edinburgh towards Crichton; but he escap- 
ed, being acquainted with the plot, as some write, well ac- 
companied, and excellently well mounted, but not without 
being wounded himself, and having slain some of his adver- 
saries in his escape. Others attribute his escaping not to any 
foresight or fore-knowledge, but saith, that he was assailed in 
the night at unawares, and being astonished at the first, yet 
afterwards recollecting himself, for he was a man of good 
courage, he slew the foremost he met with* and having re- 
ceived some wounds, brake through them, and saved himself 
in Crichton castle, where he remained not long; but his 
wounds being scarce well cured, he convened his friends, and 
coming on the sudden to Edinburgh, had almost surprised the 
Earl Douglas, who was there in quiet manner, and looking 
for no such thing; but he getting advertisement hereof, did a- 
quaint the King that he could no longer endure Crichton's 
hidden malice and practices against his life and estate, and 
now open attempts also; wherefore he desired to be excused, 
that he could no more repair to court, so long as Crichton was 
there, and so retired himself to his house, to remain as a mal- 
content for a season. 

In the mean time, finding his enemies thus to increase in 
credit at court, and with their credit, as commonly it cometh to, 
pass, in number and power, he to strengthen himself also on 
the other side against them, entered into a new confederacy 
with the Earls of Crawford and Ross, men of the greatest 
puissance and force next the Douglasses, that were in Scot- 
land in their times, or rather he renewed the old friendship 
that had been betwixt them: for their houses were in old time 
in great friendship with the houses of Douglas, as hath been 
shewed; and the house of Crawford was particularly obliged 
unto them by divers good offices, from the days of Robert II. 
and in this same man's time had been helped against the Ogil- 
vies at Aberbrothock; as his father also had, at the Earl 
Douglas's desire, spoiled Kennedy Bishop of St. Andrew's 
lands; and besides this, Beatrix Douglas, the Eurl Douglas's 


lady, was daughter to one of the Earl's of Crawford, and 
could not but be of kin to this Earl. The sum of their bond 
was, that they should every one assist and defend another to- 
gether with their friends and dependers, against all men; that 
they should have the same friends, and the same enemies, with 
reservation always, and exception of their duty to their Prince. 
But whether this bond was made of new, as some write, or if 
it were of old continued from hand to hand, and then renew- 
ed, as though it were intended in special against Crichton 
and his partakers, and due exception of the King expressly 
contained in it, is uncertain: however, they so possessed the 
King, that he interpreted all as done against himself: and there- 
fore matters being come to public hosi'ity betwixt Douglas 
and Crichton, and the country divided into faction?, when the 
Earls of Crawford and Ross had sent to Crichton, and given 
up all friendship with him as an enemy to their dearest friend, 
by virtue of the foresaid league, he acquainted the King there- 
with, and with all vehemence exaggerated the league, as a 
conspiracy against him and his royal authority, and that it was 
Very dangerous for him, when such great houses, and powerful 
men had combined together. The King apprehending it to be 
so, having once settled that opinion in his mind, did upon that 
ground buildall his interpretations of the Earl Douglas's actions, 
and framed his own actions accordingly against him: neither was 
Douglas so fortunate or circumspect, as to avoid the occasions 
of fostering that cpinioninthe King; but, as commonly happen- 
eth, when ruin is to come on men, all things work that way, 
so fared it with him in two facts. The first was on the person 
of the Lord Harris, who was too hardly used of him, as ap- 
pears, the other on the tutor of Bombie, more justly, yet so, 
that his carriage in it seemed to confirm that which his ene- 
mies alleged against him, that he exercised his authority, and 
used his privileges more absolutely than the King had reason 
to be contented with. The occasion of the first, and thereof 
was, Sir William Harris of Terregles having been the Eirl of 
Douglas's ancient depender, had now, in this frown of court, 
and diversity of factions, whether to please the court, and 

house or douglas. 077 

because he accounted it justest to follow it, or because indeed 
he misliked things done by the borderers who followed Dou- 
glas, withdrawn himself from his dependence; and if he sided 
not openly with the other party, which he could nor durst 
hardly do, lying so near to Douglas, yet did he not follow 
him as he was wont, and so either by a real enmity in private 
or a kind of neutral in public, had procured the like behavi- 
our of the Earl to him, to behave himself as neutral in his af- 
fairs; and as he had abstracted his dependence and attendance 
from him, so the other abstracted his protection from him. 
This when the Annandians perceived, they ready upon all 
such occasions, made a road, and furrowed his lands; hereof 
when he complained to the Earl, and had received answer ac- 
cording to the foresaid coldness betwixt them, he would need 
attempt some redress by his own power; and hereupon assem- 
bling a number of his friends, he rode into Artnandale, to have 
gendered them the like, and either to recover his ovVn, or 
to repair his losses out of their goods. But he was over- 
thrown by them, and taken prisoner, and so brought to the 
Earl Douglas, he esteeming him as his own servant* and taken 
within his bounds where his jurisdiction, by regality or other- 
wise, was extended, put him to assize. They of the jury found 
him guilty, being taken after he had seized the goods, with 
Red-hand as they term it, and so being convict of theft, he 
was condemned, executed, and hanged as a thief, and that not- 
withstanding the King's earnest request for his life by letter. 
A pitiable matter, and greatly to be lamented: and Eh'ough he 
had some colour of justice, yet it tasted not so much of justice 
as of malice, no net of indifferency, which would be injustice 
having eye to the due circumstances, so much as of partiality 
joined with contempt of the King and his equal request; and 
so it was constructed, and gave mOrejust occasions to his ene- 
mies surmising, and the increasing of the King's indignation 
which by yielding, and remitting a little of his privileges, and 
showing respect to the King's entreaty, he might have miti- 
gated in some measure; and that without any danger he could 
have incurred by the said Lord Harris's enmity, although he 



should have been his enemy, and perhaps he might have re- 
gained him to his friendship by remitting the offence. The 
other fact which ensued upon this, not so unjust, but made ?s 
odious, as carrying the odiousness of the other with it, was 
Maclellan tutor of Bombie, the chief of that name, and one of 
the principal houses in Galloway, falling at odds with a servant 
of the Earl Douglas, had slain him, and was therefore, with ^ 
his brother, who was partaker of the slaughter, apprehended 
and put in prison in the Trevie, a strong house belonging to 
the Earl. His friends made means to the courtiers, and by 
them to the King; informing him that Douglas carried a spleen 
against a man, more for being a friend, a favourer and fol- 
lower of the best side (so they called their own) than for kil- 
ling of the man; wherefore they besought him, that he would 
not suffer a gentleman cf his rank, who was also a good man 
otherwise, however that had fallen out in his hands, to be 
drawn, not to judgement, but to certain and destinate death, 
before one who was both judge and party. By this and such 
like information, whereby the ears of princes are deceived, 
while men go about to withdraw their friends from due pun- 
ishment, they persuade the King to send for Bombie, and 
take the trial and judgement of him in his own hands, desiring 
the Earl Douglas, that if he had any thing against him, he 
should come and pursue him before the King. Amongst the 
fartherers of this suit Patrick Gray of Foulis, uncle to the 
tutor, was chief: he was directed with the commission, as one 
that both would be earnest therein, being so near to the party, 
and would also be respected, being some way in kin to the 
Earl; Douglas having notice of his commission, and perceiving 
thereby they meant no other thing, but to defraud him of 
justice for killing of his servant, which he thought he could 
not suffer with his honour, that he might do what he had 
determined the more calmly, and with less offence, as he 
thought, he courteously received the said Patrick Gray, and 
entertained him with divers purposes, and caused the tutor in 
the mesn time to be tried by an assize; and being condemned, 
to be quickly conveyed a mile from thence, to a place called 


Carling-work, and there executed. Afterwards when Patrick 
Gray (ignorant of what "was done) had delivered his commis- 
sion from the King; he answered, he was sorry he was come 
too late, and then told him what was done, and desired him 
to excuse him to the King. When he heard that, and saw 
himself so deluded, he presently, in a great chaff and rage, re- 
nounced all kindred and friendship, and whatsoever bond 
besides might seem to tie him to the Earl, vowing from 
that time forth he should be his deadly enemy in all sort, 
and by all means he could-, which the other little regarding, 
dismissed him: but however little he regarded it, the 
French proverb proveth true, and is worthy to be regarded 
of all men, That there is no little enemy, for he had 
the power to be his death afterwards with his own hands, and 
plotted it by his counsel, or set it forward, being plotted and 
devised by others: for being come to the King, and relating 
the issue and effect of his message, all was by him and the 
other courtiers of the faction aggravated in the most heinous 
sort, that the King's commandments were contemned, eluded 
and mocked; that it was likely that the Earl Douglas was 
King; that doubtless he aimed to be so; yea, he behaved him- 
self already as such; that that was the meaning of his private 
conference with the King of England, on that ground he gave 
licence to slay so many honest men, to spoil and rob; that 
innocency now was contemned for sluggishness, faithfulness to 
the King punished for unfaithfulness; that by the King's 
indulgence the common enemy was become insolent, that it 
became him once to take upon him his place as King, and do 
things by authority, and by his power, that then it would ap- 
pear who were friends, who were foes. These, and such as 
these, were the speeches of the courtiers, and interpretations 
of his actions-, such as it pleased them to make, following 
their humour of faction or judgement. 

But they neither considered the equity that was done in 
punishing blood by blood, nor the authority by which it was 
done, for he had authority and sufficient jurisdiction of old 
granted to him, and given by former Kings to his predecess- 


ors and their heirs, for his service. Neither did they observe 
what order and formality he kept in his proceedings, nor his 
honour interested in the revenging his servant's death; neither 
what scorn to him it was on the other part, if he had sent the 
party, having thereby bis privileges infringed, his servant slain, 
and no satisfaction for it, but to be eluded by a commission 
purchased by his enemies, justice defrauded, and the guilty 
pulled out of his hands; and, by their credit with the King, 
procuring him to hinder justice, who should have been the fur- 
therer of it, only upon their private account, and by their fac- 
tions inclining his Majesty that way. Upon these considera- 
tions, what had been more extraordinary, would have been ex- 
cused by the same men, in another than Douglas. Now in 
him, though done orderly, it is thus traduced, exaggerated, 
and named contempt of the King, and affecting of the crown. 

Such is the misfortune, when princes are moved by parties 
to command or request things that are unjust, there being peril, 
either in obeying or refusing their requests, of receiving hurt 
and prejudice in their rights, and scorn of their adverse party: 
and happy is that man that can steer aright betwixt these 
rocks! happy he who falletb into the hands of such a prince, 
as measureth and moderateth his commands according to 
equity; or if they be iniquitous, when it falleth out so, (for 
what prince may not fall into such weakness,) who tempereth 
his passion, and moderateth his mind, in the just refusal there- 
of, taking it in good part, and accounteth not his authority 
contemned, when an unjust command is refused by his sub- 

Whether it were on the displeasure of this fact, or jealousy 
conceive-d of this and other actions of the Douglas's, it is hard 
to discern; but so it was, that his enemies making use, for 
their own ends, of the King's credulity, prevailed so far, that 
they persuaded the King to resolve to make away with himj 
and seeing it could not be done by open force, in any sort it 
could be done: whereof when they had advised of all the means 
they could, this they found to be the most expedient way, that 
he should be drawn to court, by fair promises, and being 


come, the King should enter into terms of quarrelling; and 
thereupon they that were appointed for the purpose should dis- 
patch him. So they caused a certain courtier of their faction, 
but such an one as was free from all suspicion of bearing enmity 
to the Earl, to address himself to a gentleman who was 
Douglas's friend, and to shew him how Crichton was retired 
to his own house, and that in his absence it were fit the Earl 
should take that good occasion to come and see the King, with 
whom he might be assured to find favour, if he would crave 
it humbly: and this he told as a great secret, not to be revealed 
but to his Lord, and dealt earnestly with him to follow his 

The gentleman believing, went and dealt very earnestly 
with his Lord, but he suspecting Crichton's craft, and having 
the murder of his cousins before his eyes, flatly refused to rro 
thither, where he had so many enemies, so potent and of so 
great credit, and some of which had, not long ago, lain in 
wait for his life, unless he saw assurance of his life and liber- 
ty. Hereupon he was directly sent for to cone to court, with 
promise of all freedom, and with assurance under the broad 
seal: and to remove all fear and doubt that he could conceive 
the noblemen that were present at court were moved to send 
a warrant to him, subscribed with all their hands, and sealed 
with all their seals, with the greatest oaths and protestations 
interposed therein that could be; and not only so, but every 
man wrote his own particular letter apart, assuring him of the 
King's good-will; and further promising him, that if it should 
so fall out, that the King should be so disposed as to break his 
faith and promise, and to enterprize any thing against his per- 
son, life, lands or liberty, they should send him home safe 
nevertheless. What could he seek more at their hands? Or 
what could he devise more? And who would have doubted 
after such assurances? Yet that he might not repose all his 
safety upon his enemies credit alone, he accompanieth him- 
self, for his honour and surety, with as many as might secure 
him, and keep him from being in danger of any private man's 
forces, So relying, for the King's part, upon his safe-conduct 

N n 


and the nobility's credit interposed therewith, he Cometh to 
Stirling, where the King was well attended and followed by 
his friends and servants, but in a peaceable manner. Being 
come into tbe King's presence after some sort of admonition 
to lead a more peaceable and orderly life, he seemed to pardon 
him whatever was past, and kindly invited him to supper in 
the castle. After they had supped chearfully and merrily 
together, the King taketh him aside and leadeth him into an 
inner-room, where there was none present besides them two 
and Patrick Gray, of whom we spoke before, how of his 
friend and cousin he was become his enemy, for the execution 
of the tutor of Bombie: there the King beginning Ms 
speech from the valour and loyalty of his predecessors, came 
shortly to his own indulgence towards the whole family, 
and towards himself in particular; then sharply upbraiding 
him how oft he had pardoned him, and what insolences he 
had committed: Douglas answered submissively, and craved 
pardon for what he had offended against himself in any sort; 
saying, his intention was not against him, but against his ene- 
mies: that as for others that would complain, he was ready to 
satisfy them according to justice, and at the King's own plea- 
sure. There rests yet one thing, saith the King, the league 
betwixt you and the Earls of Crawford and Ross, I will have 
you presently to quit it. At that word the Earl was somewhat 
as:onisbed at the first, yet gathering his spirits again, he an- 
swered, that for him, he knew nothing wherein that league 
could be offensive to his Majesty, seeing that all duty to him 
was specially reserved The King replied, I will have you 
presently o break tbe same. Douglas answered, that if he 
would have him to do so, he would be pleased to give him leave 
to advertise the said noblemen, and then he would do it, other- 
wise he would be accounted a fiith-breaker, if having entered 
into friendship with them, he should forsake them, not giving 
a reason why: and therefore besought him to have patience. 
The Ki-ig replied in an angry manner, speaking aloud, if you 
will not break it, I will: and with thdse words, he stabbed him 
in the breast with, a dagger. At the same instant Patrick 


Gray struck him on the bead with a pole-ax. The rest that 
were attending at the door, hearing the noise, eniered, and fell 
also upon him: and, to shew their affection to the King, gave 
him every man his blow afrer lie was dead. 

Thus died he by the hand of the King, but by the practices 
of his enemies, they being the movers, and the King yielding to 
their motions as if it had been his quarrel, for so they made 
jr seem to him, whereas indeed it was but their own: or if his 
h Was but thus far his* that he took it on him as his, espoused 
theirs a; his own, and embarked himself therein, A common 
practise of courtiers who have princes ears whatever is con- 
trary to fheir will is all against the King, is all presumption, 
is all high treason; whereas indeed they are oft-times them- 
selves his greatest enemies, whatever shew of service and aflec- 
tion they make; and they whom they call his enemies i*r more 
heartily affected to him. They make the King always wed 
their quarrelsj bear their errors, and the whole hatred and 
cnvv of their enemies; and oft-times draw him into great ab- 
surdities, beside and contrary to his own natural disposition, to 
liis grert disgrace, or diminishing his credit, in the eyes of 
his subjects, not without great peril of his life and estate. 
Happy the prince that can rightly take up, and rightly dis- 
cern the quarrels which are indeed his own, from those which 
others would have him think to be his own, and so under- 
standeth the disposition of his subjects, that he account not all 
that is agains; his courtiers is against him, or all that is done 
by his courtiers is done for him. 

These courtiers had gained this point of the King; and 
by that means had brought him to do that hard fact against 
this man as h.s own enemy, as one aspiring to his crown; 
Where indeed never any such thing appeared to have been 
intended by him, or aimed at, but only revenge againsfe 
his private enemies And for the other crimes that his ene- 
mies alleged against him, they were only supported by small 
p esumpiions and cold conjectures. Bat above all this, tne- 
gtt itest pity is. that they had p wer to bring sucli a King to 
coaiaiit such a factj contrary to, his fattn, and promise, solemn- 


ly sworn and sealed by himself, and by his nobility, to break 
the bonds of all human society. It is worthy the considering 
to see their pretences and arguments set down by writers, 
which they used to move and induce him to consent and yield 
to this strange and unnatural fact. A paradox in truth, though 
a maxim in Machiavelianismrone of them is necessity; for they 
make him believe, first, that the Earl Douglas did aspire; then 
that he was so powerful, that there was no other remedy for 
hi> aspiring. All they bring is but weak. presumptions. And 
for his strength and power, he was strong enough indeed to 
defend himself against his enemies, or an unjust force and 
violence: but it had been another matter unjustly to have in- 
vaded the kingdom, for which he was not so strong, as 
justice and a just title to a crown, which are of great force; 
and against which, that force, which otherwise and in another 
case may be great, will prove nothing: for God hath given his 
image of authority with it, which so affects the hearts of men, 
that they cannot but regard it; and this image being imprinted 
in their hearts, is not easily abolished but by very enormous 
faults, and even scarce by any faults, though never so extraor- 
dinary. So that it was error in them to think, or craftiness to 
persuade, that there was no remedy in a just authority to de. 
fend itself by itself, and without foregoing itself and becoming 
injustice, and that in such a hateful manner: whereas by the 
contrary, this, their way, was not so safe and so certain a mean 
to defend himself, but had almost been the mean to deprive 
him of what he would have had men think he preserved by it, 
that is, his crown; for the fact being so vile and base, it not 
only moved the friends and followers of che Eail Douglas's house 
to rebellion, but also incensed the whole common people: so 
that if his brother who succeeded had been as politic as he was 
powerful, the King might have been set beside his throne. 
And as it was, he was once in a great brangling, and had re- 
solved to quit the country, had it not been for James Ken- 
nedy's counsel, who was Bishop of St. Andrews. So far was 
this fact from establishing his throne, as they made him be- 
lieve it would do. 


Then for the honesty and lawfulness of it, it is to be dili- 
gently weighed: It is lawful-, say they, to catch fraud in its own 
craftiness. And indeed that saying is most true, good, and 
conform to all wisdom, being rightly understood, thus: let fraud 
work on fraudfully, until he be intangled and inirapped in 
his own fraud, and so become guilty and obnoxious to a law- 
ful and orderly avengement by justice; but that men to meet 
fraud, may justly use fraud, and that against all promises, 
seals, subscriptions, or oaths, to the extremity of murdering, 
changing justice into injustice, in the very seat of justice, 
is not, nor ever was, nor ever can be justified under any 
pretext whatsoever; as being that which breaketh the bands 
of human society. It is an unworthy kingdom which cannot 
otherwise defend itself; and it is unworthy of a King to stoop 
to such unworthy and base ways. It hath also been by 
some pretended elsewhere, to cover the foulness here- 
of, that hereby much bloodshed is eschewed, which would, 
have been, before such a man could have been cut off, which, 
I marvel is not alleged here also. 

But that is frivolous amongst the rest; for it is the cause of 
much more blood-shedding, because it takes away all trust, and 
so peace, until the wars end by the destruction of one party, 
which without tru^t cannot end by reconcilement. Besides 
this, they insinuated it unto the King, as a point of want of 
courage in him, and cowardice, if he durst not so much as de- 
ceive his enemy; whereby they would mean, that it was cour- 
age to deceive him. An unhappy daring, to dare to do wrong, 
and very far mistaken, and misnamed. 

And IdSt of all, they half menace to abandon him, and pro- 
vide for themselves and their own safety, by taking part with 
Douglas as the stronger party; whom if the King did not make 
away, they would follow him, and that there was no other 
remedy left to them. Such boldness were they come to, thus 
to threaten their master and sovereign! And such is the 
weakness of that place, where it submitteth itself to servants.! 
By these means was this good King (far contrary to his own 
nature) drawn on by them who had his ear to this unnatural 


fact, as to that which was most lawful and absolutely neces- 
sary, yet was neither this pretended necessity, nor alleged 
lawfulness, sufficient to defend it, even in the judgement of the 
doers themselves. And therefore the courtiers found out ano- 
ther mean to put seme fair face, at least some colourable excuse 
upon it as they thought, for being ashamed of those allege- 
ances, or distrusting that they would be accepted for just causes 
cf breach of faith, and fearing they should be detested of all 
men: they gave it out, that the slaughter was not committed 
of set-purpose, but that it fell out only by chance, and that 
the King no intention to kill him, till he himself by his 
indiscretion procured it, having irritated the King by his pre- 
sumptuous answers. 

But this is a weak excuse, to commit murder contrary to 
promise, although he had answered so: but there is no appear- 
ance, that it was but a sudden passion; neither was it believed 
in those days, as may be seen by the persuasions given him 
by the courtiers; which while writers set down, they witness 
it was a set-draught and fore-plotted. For they say plainly 
also, that the courtiers would have had it appear that 
it came by his arrogancy in his carriage and answers, but 
not that it was so indeed. Besides, there is a received tra- 
dition that James Hamilton of Cadzow pressing in to follow 
the Douglas, Livingston being uncle to Junes, and knowing 
the Earl was to die, gave him a blow on the face, and thrust 
him back from the gate: James Hamilton drew his sword, which 
the other little regarding, held him oil" with a long halbert, 
and made the guard shut the gate against him; was exceeding 
angry at this affront in the time, but after, when he heard the 
Earl was killed, he knew it was done fur his safety. He 
had given too much matter for his enemies to work on, i.y 
his rash journey into England, and private conference with the 
King and Queen there: but this had been forgiven him, as an 
oversight only, which the King had apparently tried, and found 
to be nothing else. He had been vehement in the re\enge 
of the murder of his cousins, and servant John Auchinleckj 
but that, though vehement, was not unjuit, and therefore we 



find him never charged with it as injustice. He had against 
equity executed the Lord Harris, yet he had done it legally, 
and by form and order of law; whereof the particulars not 
being perfectly known, the judgement is difficult, yet it is not - , 
for any thing we see, any way to be excused. The execution 
of the tutor of Bombie was very good justice andirreprovable, 
though it bred him most hatred and ill-will at court. Other 
particulars are not mentioned: only they say, that he bore with 
thieves to have their assistance. An ill and unwise course, 
and ever pernicious to the users of it, for harming of such as 
they hate! A far worse and unworthy fact, unfit for a gener- 
ous mind to companion itself with them whom he should 
punish, and to participate of the guiltiness he should correct! 
But how far he went in this point is not certain; at least is not 
specially set down. And as for the speeches of his enemies, 
reproaching them unto him in the hatefullest sort, all must 
not be taken for truth they say. 

All agree that he was a man of great power, great policy, 
great performance and execution, and greater expectation; in 
whom the name of Douglas rose to the greatest pitch of height, 
and with whom it began to fall, which was afterwards accom- 
plished ia his successor, as shall be said. He was slain the 
1 3th of February 14-52, esteemed tohavebeen Fastings-Eve, (or 
Shrove-Tuesday) after the Roman supputation; or in the year 
14-51, as Ms»jor reckoneth it, according to the account of 
Scotland. He was Earl the space of nine years, or thereabout, 
but left no children behind him. Where he was buried, or 
what was done with his body, there is no mention made in 

Me Ictho, ante diem, Crichtonus Rexque dedere; 
Ille necis causam prcebuit, iste manum. 
In English thus, 

By Crichton and my King, too soon I die, 

He jrave the blow, Crichton the plot did lay. 


Of James the Ninth and last Earl of Douglas, the 
Eighteenth Lord, sixth Duke of Touraine and 
Fourth James, who died in Linjdoees. 

W ILLIAM being thus slain by the instigation of these 
courtiers, his enemies, to the end that the King, as they would 
have it thought, might be established in his crown, by the 
making away of him whom they made the King to think so 
great an enemy to him: it was so far from producing that effect, 
that by the contrary there was nothing nearer, than that it 
should have been the very occasion of spoiling him thereof; 
for the Earl Douglas's friends, who before took Crichton and 
his faction only for their enemies, now they take the King for 
their enemy; they, who before thought not that what they 
had suffered proceeded from the King, or that it was his 
doing, now they impute it to him; they who before were only 
malcontents, and within the bounds of obedience, and had a 
good opinion of the King, now they become enemies, with an 
ill opinion of him, as a wicked man: they who before con- 
tained themselves in civil terms, now become openly rebellious; 
and whereas they had good hope, and looked for reconcile- 
ment, now cast off all hope thereof; and matters becoming 
irreconcileable, ah love and regard, all reverence, their hearts 
being laden with the injury, with the dishonesty, with the 
horror of it, they burst forth into all outragious words and 
deeds: things coming to that point, that they could not be 
ended but by the destruction of one of the parties. Either 
they behoved to ruin the King, or behoved to be ruined by 
him. And here the hardest lot at the first wjs the King's 
by all appearance; the power of the other party being so great, 
their minds so inflamed, their anger so incensed against him : 
neither the party only, but the people in general detested the 
fact, and the horribleness of it, in such sort, that he was put 
to all his shifts, and driven to such a point of despair, as to 
think of leaving the country, and going by sea to France. 


For though the Earl himself was dead, yet had he left be- 
hind him in the town of Stirling four brethren that were come 
hither to accompany him. The eldest of these, James, was 
provided to the estate three years before, by the King's con- 
sent, upon the occasion of Earl William's going to Rome in, 
the year of jubilee, to succeed his brother after his decease. 
He therefore, with the rest of the nobility whofavoured them 
and their cause, having heard the report of Earl William's 
being stabbed in that manner, being astonished with these 
sudden and unexpected news, first ran and took arms with, 
great haste and tumult; but having contained themselves, and 
commanding their companies to be quiet, every man kept 
within his own lodging for that night: upon the morrow they 
assembled together in counsel, and, according to the defunct's 
ordinance, and the King's consent obtained thereto before, 
they acknowledged James lawful heir and successor, to his 
brother William. Then he, with many vehement and bitter 
words, inveighing against the treasonable perjury of the King 
and courtiers, exhorts them who were present to lay siege to 
the castle. * Send,' says he, « for your friends and followers 
« from all quarters, and let us draw out of their lurking holes 
* those men who are only valiant in perfidiousness, while as 
« yet they waver, being uncertain in their resolutions, and 
« tremble with the guiltiness of so horrible a fact.' They 
who were present praised his piety towards his dead brother, 
and also his courage; but because they were come in a peace- 
able manner, and unprovided of things necessary for so great 
a work, they abstained from the siege; which if they had (as 
the Earl gave advice) resolved upon, and fallen too presently, 
while the odiousness of the fact was yet green and fresh before 
the eyes of men, the King and his partners being unprovided, 
and neither able to consult, nor to meet for consultation, the 
castle being inclosed, which being also, as it is to be supposed, 
not well, victualled for a siege, the King could hardly have 
escaped their hands. Neither was the matter so difficult for 
them, to have remained, and sent for the rest of their friends, 
and any provision which they needed, who might have come 

O o 


to them within Hve weeks, as they did themselves return iri 
fhat time, having given the King so much leisure to advise and 
prepare for them. Neither could the King (for all that he 
had that space and time) find any means sufficient to match 
them. For having, upon this their deliberation, resolved upon 
the worst part, and departed to their houses, and taken full 
advice concerning all things, they returned the five and twen- 
tieth day of March, where all the way as they came along to 
Stirling, James Hamilton dragged the King's safe corduct, 
which had been given to Earl William, having the broad seal 
hanging thereat, at the tail of an ill-favoured spittle jade or 
mare, through the streets of all the towns and villages in 
their way, abstaining from no contumelious words that 
they could devise agiimt the King, his counsellors and cour- 

Being come to Stirling, they went to the market-cross, and 
there sounding with five hundred horns and trumpets, they 
caused a herald to proclaim the King, and such as had been 
plotters and authors of Earl William's death, perjured traitors 
to God and man, and that they were to be abhorred and de- 
tested by all men as such. Others write that they went to 
the castle-gate, and made that proclamation in the King's hear- 
ing, whilst he was looking at them, and that it was done the 
next day after the slaughter. Thereafter they pillaged the 
town; and being angry even with the innocent and harmless 
place, they sent back James Hamilton of Cadzow, and burnt 
it. Where this is to be considered, what could be the cause 
why these men, who before were upon advisement to have 
besieged the castle of Stirling, and did not do it then, only be- 
cause they were unprovided, why these men, I say, now being 
come again and provided, abstained notwithstanding from be- 
sieging of it, having nothing to hinder them; and which if 
they had taken, they had withal obtained full victory, being 
masters of the field, the King inclosed and secluded from his 
favourers and partners, no others, in all likelihood, could have 
made head against them; for neither would any have under- 
taken it; neither would the people, as was thought, have foir 


lowed them, at least not so freely, whether it wag because they 
had no hope to force it, being a strong place, neither to fam- 
ish it in haste, being well provided of victuals, or if they 
chose rather to deprive him of his partners abroad in the coun- 
try, by forcing them to forsake him first, and then it would 
be easy to take the King, who had nothing but the castle- walls 
to trust to; or whatever else were the occasion thereof, our 
histories (very defective in this so special a point) te;l not; 
but so it was, that they leaving the principal point unprosecut- 
ed, the King himself, wherein would have consisted the whole 
sum of a full victory, and to which they should chiefly have 
directed their courses, contented only to have blazed his re- 
proaches, turned towards his friends, pillaging and spoiling 
such as remained on his side; and even by this the King was 
so put to it, that he had determined to leave the country, and 
to fly into France, had not Archbishop Kennedy advised him 
to stay, and hope for better fortune, shewing him, that if he 
could keep his person safe, and have patience to protract and 
linger out the time a while, his adversaries' faction would dis- 
solve ere long, and fall asunder of itself. 

Amongst those who took part with the King, there were 
divers of the name of Douglas, and that of the principals, as, 
Angus, brother to Archbishop Kennedy by the mother, who 
was daughter to Robert III. and sister to James I. by whom 
therefore they were cousin-germ&ns to the King, who was 
partly persuaded by his brother to take that course as fitter 
for him, ?gainst the Earl Douglas, partly also, accounting it 
right to follow him as his King, partly for kindred. There 
was also John, (or rather Ja:nes) Lord Dalkeith, who h^d 
married the King's sister, as llollinshed writeth in the life of 
Macbeth, as also the manuscript in this same place, and the 
contract, Which the Earl of Morton yet hath, beareth: also the 
manuscript in the life of Gross James, (this Earl James's father) 
saith the Lord Dalkeith, (or Henry his son rather) mat- 
tied the said Grois James's eldest daughter, this James's sister 
called Margaret: whether therefore having married the King's 
sister a and so inclinable to that side, or aay'mg married Laii ' 


James's sister, and being of the name, the Earl Douglas was 
so much the more incensed against him, that he should, with- 
out regard of this tie, have joined with his enemies; and there- 
fore besieged the casrie of Dalkeith, binding himself by an 
oa'h not to depart from thence, until he had taken it. But 
it was valiantly defendedby Patrick Cockburn of Clarkington 
in such sort, that at last he was constrained by great travel 
and trouble of his men with watching, and many wounds, to 
raise the siege and depart. The King had in the mean time 
convened a company of men to have relieved the besieged; 
but finding that his power was not sufficient for that purpose, 
he resolved to attend the coming of Alexander Gordon Earl 
of Huntly, his brother-in-law v or sister's son) whom he made 
lieutenant, and who, they said, was corning with a great army 
collected out of the farthest parts of the north. But as he was 
marching through Angus, the 28th of May, he was encountered 
at Brechin by the Earl of Crawford, who lay for him there to 
stop nis passage. There was fought a great battle betwixt 
them, in such sort, that Huntly's middle ward was almost de- 
feated, and well nigh routed, net being able to sustain the im- 
pression of Crawford's army, which was so strong, that they 
failed but a little to overthrow the King's standard, brought 
thither and displayed by Huntly had it not been for the cow- 
ardly and treacherous flight of John Colesse of Bonniemoon, 
to whom the left wing was committed by Crawford: he in the 
hottest of the conflict, offended with Crawford, because he 
had refused him that same morning the barony of Ferm, or a 
part thereof, which lay near to his house, fled on purpose out 
of the battle, and so left the middle ward naked on the one 
side of the special force, which the said Earl had, which was 
called the battle of axes or Billmen. By their flight, the rest, 
who were almost victors, were so terrilied, that they turned 
their backs, and left the victory to Huntly, far beyond his own 
expectation, and yet not without a great slaughter of his friends, 
servants and followers, and especially those of his name, a- 
mongst whom were two of his brethren. This battle was 
fought on the ascension-day, in the year 14-53; he had before 


the battle, that same day, given lands to the principal men of 
those sirnames that were with him, as Forbeses, Leslies, Ir- 
vines, Ggilvies, Grants, and divers others, which made them 
fight with greater courage. Crawford also lost many of his 
men, together with his brother John Lindsay: so that the loss 
on both sides was accounted almost equal. / 

Huntly had the name of the victory, yet could not march 
forward to the King, as he intended, and that partly because 
of his great loss of men, partly for that he was advertised that 
Archibald Douglas Earl of Murray had invaded his lands, and 
burnt the Peil of Strabogie: wherefore he returned speedily 
to his own country, which gave Crawford leisure and occasion 
to pour out his wrath against them who had so traiterously 
forsaken him, by burning and wasting their lands, and casting 
down their houses and castles. Huntly being returned to the 
north, not only recompensed the damage done to him by the 
Earl of Murray, but also compelled him out of his whole bounds 
of Murray; yet it was not done without conflict and mutual 
harm; for Huntly coming to Elgin in Murray, found it divid- 
ed: the One half standing for him, the other half, and almost 
the other side of the street, standing for the Earl of Murray; 
wherefore he burnt that half which was for Murray; and here- 
upon arose the proverb, Half done as Elgin was bumf. 
While he is there, Murray assembled his power, which con- 
sisting most of footmen, he sat down upon a hill two or three 
miles off, called theDrum of Piuscarden, which was inaccessible 
to horsemen. Huntly furrowed his lands to draw him from 
the hill, or at least to be revenged of him that way, thinking 
he durst not come into the plain fields, and not thinking it 
safe to assault him in a place of such disadvantage. But Mur- 
ray seeing Huntly's men so scattered, came out of his strength, 
and falling upon four Or five hundred horsemen, drave them 
into a bog called the bog of Dunkinty, in the bounds of Pit- 
tendreigh, full of quag-mires, so deep* that a spear mav be 
thrust into them and not find the bottom. In this bog many 
were drowned, the rest slain, few or none escaping of that 
company. There are yet to be seen swords, steel-caps, and 


such other things which are found now and then by the coun- 
try people that live about it. They made this round rhyme of 
it afterward: 

Where left thou thy men, thou Gordon so gay? 
In the bog of Dliinkinty mowing the hay. 

These victories in the north, together with the repulse, at 
lease the retreat of the Earl Douglas from the castle of Dal- 
keith, did so encourage the Kirig, that he began to conceive 
better hopes of his affiirs; and, by the counsel of Archbishop 
Kennedy, he called a parliament at Edinburgh, and summon-* 
ed the Earl Douglas and his partners to compear thereat. But 
the Earl was so far from obeying, that he caused placarts to be 
affixed upon the church doors, and other public places, sealed 
with his seal, containing in effect, that from thenceforth he 
would neither obey citation, nor other commandment of the 
King's, nor in any sort commit his life to him, who having 
allured his cousins to Edinburgh, and his brother to Stirling, 
under safe-conduct, had traiterously murdered them without 
any order of law, and contrary to his oath. Hereupon he and 
his three brethren, Archibald, Hugh and John, together with 
Beatrix, relict of Earl William, were declared rebels, and for- 
feited, and with them Alexander Earl of Crawford, and James 
Lord Hamilton; and that the number of the nobiliry might 
not seem to be diminished by their forfeiture, there were divers 
new Lords created, and the goods and lands of the forfeited 
given to them. 

Thereafter an army was levied to pursue them, their lands 
were wasted, their goods driven away, their corn destroyed, 
and then, winter coming on, because the army could not lie 
in the fields, they were dismissed, and appointed to meet a- 
gain in the spring. But the Earl Douglas seemed to make 
small account of all this; and that the grandeur of his house, 
which was grown to that great height by that great marriage, 
might not be impaired, and that estate transferred to stran- 
gers, he takes to wife the foresaid Beatrix, and d<?als with the 

house of dotjglas. 2D 5 

Pope for a dispensation and confirmation of the marriage. 
But that suit was crost by the King's letters. 1 find it in an 
ancient book written of the Douglases, in metre, that she her- 
self alleged, that her first husban 1 Earl William had never 
carnal copulation with her, and that she gave her oath there- 
upon; which giveth some colourable excuse to this fact, which 
otherwise is so enormous, and void of all appearance that he 
could have been so shameless as to have gone about it without 
some such reason or pretext, which therefore I would not o- 
mit to intimate, and I remember not that I have reap it else- 
where. However it was, he kept her as his wife, and conti- 
nued the wars that year, and the next two years, pillaging and. 
wasting the King's possessions, and the King doing the like 
to him, especially in Annandale, Galloway, and the forest. 
Hereupon ensued a famine, and upon the famine a pestilence; 
towns and castles were destroyed on both sides; and no kind 
of hostility pretermitted. The King notwithstanding caused 
try indirectly where the Earl could be persuaded to yield him- 
self to him, and the wisest of his friends counselled him to do 
it, alleging that his predecessors had often done so; chiefly 
seeing he had been a King of a gentle nature, and who would 
be entreated by friends, not to extinguish so noble a family, 
and undo so many noblemen as joined with him, or to reduce 
them to that necessity, that they should be forced to take a 
course for themselves; that it would be easier for him to get 
good quarters now, while matters were as yet not past recon- 
ciliation, and while his friends were about him, than after- 
wards when he should be deserted, and left alone; then there 
would be no hope of pardon. To this he answered, That he 
would never commit himself to the credit of those whom nei- 
ther shame nor honesty could bind, who regarded neither the 
law of God nor man; but having allured his cousins and bro- 
ther with fair promises, had so traiterously and cruelly slain 
them, that he would rather suffer all extremity, than come 
into their power. This speech was approved or disapproved 
according to every man's disposition, some praising his mag_ 
Kaolin it y and courage, some disliking his obstinacy, and ex- 


horting him not to lose the good occasion of making his 
peace, which, if his friends, wear y of troubles, should aban- 
don him, he would repent afterwards. He persisted in his 
opinion, and what for detestation of the fact, what for fear to 
be used after the same manner himself, if he should come in- 
to the King's power (as it falls out, and must of necessity, 
where trust, which is the ground of all peace, is taken away} 
not suffering any thought of peace to come into his mind, re- 
solved to try the fortune of war. 

But the Earl of Crawford, weary of so long troubles, ap- 
prehending the iniquity of ihe cause, and weighing with him- 
self the common changeableness of all human affairs, and 
knowing that pardon would be easily grajsted to him who 
should pre-occupy the King's favour, and uneasy and difficult 
to those that should continue in arms, being left by a part of 
his friend?, and suspecting the fidelity of the rest, as the King 
was journeying through Angus, he casts himself in his way 
with a habit calculated to move pity, bare-footed and bare- 
headed; he plainly confessed his offences in times past, put 
himself absolutely in the King's will, commemorating the 
good offices done by his predecessors: he acknowledged, that 
whatever had happened to him, had happened by his own de- 
fault; and that whatever life or fortune he should have there- 
after, he would owe it to the King's clemency. These and 
tuch like speeches moved the noblemen that were present, e- 
specially the gentlemen of Angus, who, although they had 
always followed the King, yet were loth that so ancient and 
noble an house should perish, chiefly Archbishop Kennedy, 
howbeit he had received many injuries of Crawford, or his fa- 
ther; yet considering of what importance it was to the King 
to have his own forces increased by his accession, and his ene- 
mies diminished and weakened by want of so great a man, 
dealt earnestly with the King to receive him into his wonted 
place of honour and favour. Neither was the King difficult 
to be entreated, but graciously pardoned him, and restored 
him to his former condition both of goods and honour, only 
admonishing him to do his duty in time to come. It is re- 


ported that the King being desirous to perform his promise, 
which was to raze the house of Finhaven, the chief inannouc' 
of the Earl of Crawford, and to make the highest* stone the 
lowest, he went up to the top of the house, and, according to 
his promise, threw down a little stone which was ' tng loose 
above the built work to the ground, which is to this day kept 
in an iron chain for a monument and memorial of this action. 
Some also write that the King took from him the lands 
of Badenoch and Lochaber and gave them to Huntly for the 
lands which he had distributed at the field of Brechin, as al- 
so the second place in parliament, and honour of bearing the 
scepter, Crawford died within six months of a burning fever 
at Finhaven, and was buried in the Grayfriars at Dundee, in 
the sepulchre of his progenitors. 

The Earl Douglas informed hereof, and seeing his forces 
decay daily, and the King's daily growing greater, he thought 
he would go try what succour or support he could have out 
of England; and for that effect he sent James Hamilton of 
CaJzow to King Henry, to desire his help in this estate. 
King Henry considering and thinking the occasion tit for 
him to encroach upon Scotland, persuading himself that the 
Earl Douglas's passion of revenge on the one part, and the ne- 
cessity of his estate on the other (two powerful persuaders to 
move men) should drive him to accept his help on whatever 
terms, was content to aid him upon this condition, that he 
should become his subject, swear fealty to him, and so to con- 
tinue for ever; and for better assurance hereof, should put in- 
to his hands such strengths and castles in Scotland as he had 
in his custody. Unto this Douglas replied very generously 
and honestly, ' That he would never leave such a blot upon his 
house, and would rather choose to die by whatever hand, 
than commit such a crime against his country, for a fault 
done by the Prince, and some particular men only, wuereof 
he hoped to be avenged, without that shame.' This being so 
honest a part, and testifying so honest a heart, as some of 
them have not had the like, even of those who pretended to 

P P 


be Kings themselves, some of whom have not refused to ren^ 
der themselves and their kingdoms to the English servitude, 
to be avenged of their enemies, and to obtain the crown for 
themselves, is too lightly passed over by our writers, without 
due approbation and praise that it well deserveth. Besides, 
there can hardly be a clearer argument of his not affecting or 
aiming at the crown, which his brother and predecessors were 
charged with: for had he been that way set, he would have 
accepted of the proffer of England, and made use of their 
help, which questionless these Kings would not have denied 
him, according to their ordinary practice. And how many 
are there that would have forborn in such power, and upon 
such an occasion? For although he seems to have no colour 
of title to the crown, yet men that aspire to it, do seldom 
want their pretences, when they have power to seize it. So 
that the greater is the pity in so moderate prosecution of such 
a quarrel, that the event should have been so hard oh his side, 
which appears yet better in that which followed. 

So left thus to himself, by the instigation of his partners, 
and namely of James Hamilton of Cadzow, he gathered to- 
gether his friends and followers, to raise the siege of Aber- 
corn, which the King had beset, and who lay before it in 
person. And when he was come within five miles, or, as o- 
thers say, within sight of the besiegers, they looked assuredly 
that he would, and that he had resolved to fight, because he 
put his army in order of battle; who being very ready and 
forward for their part, Cadzow also exhorting him that he 
would end these wars with a notable victory to his perpetual 
praise, or with an honourable death, as became his house, that 
he might vindicate himself from those miseries and contume- 
lies: but he utterly refused to fight, though he were more in 
number, saying plainly, his heart would not suffer him nor 
serve him to fight against his sovereign. Whereby it may be 
conjectured (as saith the manuscript) that his meaning was 
only to have terrified the King, and brought him to some rea- 
sonable conditions of peace. But there wanted intercessors 
to deal betwixt them, partly because all men were engaged to 
the one or other side, for that they believed that he still per- 


sisted in his former opinion of distrust or indignation, and so 
nothing was done therein by any. Others interpret it to 
have been cowardice or faint-hearted ness, and lack of courage; 
for their words import so much, a fault that was incident to 
few of that stock; and we never find it imputed to any of 
them against England, or against any other private enemy, 
nor to this man elsewhere, but at this time: and we heard 
how after the killing of his brother his courage is commend- 
ed, together with his piety. The reason of it hath been this 
then, while his anger was recent and green against the authors 
thereof, he could have done any thing to have been avenged; 
now time having taken away the edge of that disposition, when 
he considered it was his King he had to do with, whose hand 
the courtiers, his enemies, had only borrowed-, his natural af- 
fection, and regard of a subject towards his Prince, was re- 
turned, and by piece-meal had taken possession of his heart a- 
gain, as its own proper lodging, where it had been harboured 
ever before. Certainly this refusal to fight now, and his for- 
mer rejecting of the King of England's disloyal conditions of 
help, have proceeded from one and the same disposition of 
mind; wherefore seeing that ought highly to be praised, I see 
not how this can be condemned, at least how they can con- 
demn it, that do so highly respect that high place of Kings. 
The word also will import not altogether flat cowardice, but 
a natural sluggishness, and want of action, whereof cowardice 
is sometimes the cause, but not always, though they concur 
often. But there is another affection that makes men slack 
in action, which proceeds not either of sluggishness or cow- 
ardice, but of irresolution; when a man swimming betwixt 
two opinions, resolves not fully upon either; and this seems 
to have been his disposition. A great impediment in his ac- 
tions, and at least, in this last point of such importance, the 
cause of his ruin, while neither his heart could suffer him to 
act against his Prince, whom naturally he affected, neither 
could he digest or forget the fact done, or (after it) to com- 
mit himself to the doer. Which disposition, though it have 
brought out the like effects, as cowardliness and sluggishness 


are wont to do, to wit, lingering and eschewing of the battle, 
yet this did not proceed in him from either of these two, but 
had the original from a very honest mind to do his duty. His 
love to his Prince strove and fought with another duty, which 
was his love to his dead brother, or to his own honour. Out 
of which, whilst he either cannot, or occasion is not offered 
to extricate himself, and wind out a full resolution, he suffer- 
ed himself to be carried unto that which he most inclined to, 
his love to his Prince, and thereby he slipt and led slide 
through his fingers, as it were, this fair occasion which was 
then offered unto him, of no less (in the judgement of his 
friends) than the casting the dice for the crown: and so 
James Hamilton told him, That the occasion was such, that if 
he did not lay hold of it, he should never find the like again: 
he told him withal, that his want of resolution would be his 
overthrow, as it was indeed. 

For James Hamilton himself left hin> that same night, and 
went to the King, of whom he was so honourably and well 
received, that others thereby were encouraged to come in al- 
so: yet others write that he was committed to ward in Roslin 
for a certain season, and afterwards relieved at the entreaty 
of George Douglas Earl of Angus. However, by his infor- 
mation to the K»ng of the state of the Earl Douglas's army, 
how forward they had been to have fought, and how discon- 
tented and discouraged they were with his lingering; how the 
greatest motive that kept them with him, was their doubting 
of pardon for their former offences, the King caused make a 
proclamation, That whosoever would come in to him, and 
foiiake the Earl of Douglas, should have free remission for 
all that was past, providing they came within forty-eight 

This being published, the most part of the Earl's army left 
hi n; so that there remained not, ere the next morning, with 
him above 2000 men, whereby he was constrained to leave the 
fie d, and his friends and servants that were in Abercorn to 
be cruelly slain and executed; for the castle was taken by 
force, and demolished, to his no small reproach, in that he 


was so irresolute, and had not by some means or other pro- 
cured at least some honest composition for himself and them, 
or else to have adventured all; where, if he wouid not have 
taken the kingdom, in case of victory, yet might he honour- 
ably have set down conditions of peace j or if he had lost the 
field, he could not have lost more than he did; for by these 
means, abandoned of all, he was constrained to flee to Eng- 

In the year 1455, having got together a small company of 
men, he returned into Annandale, thinking to have found 
some friends in those quarters, which were his own lands be- 
fore; but there he was encountered by the King's followers, 
especially by his own kinsman ^but the King's cousin) George 
Earl of Angus, as some write, who defeated him. His bro- 
ther the Earl of Murray was slain in the field, and his other 
brother the Earl of Orniond was hurt and taken prisoner* af- 
ter his wounds were cured, being brought to the King, he 
was executed, with greater regard to this last action, than re- 
spect to his victory obtained not far from the same place, at 
Sark, against the English and Magnus with the red mane, 
their insolent champion, which was so greatly praised by the 
King before, and so acceptable to all, court and country. Such 
is the course and vicissitude of all human affairs* We hear 
only of one son of Ormond's, named Hugh Dean of Brechin, 
of whom we shall speas somewhat hereafter in the life of Ar- 
chibald Earl of Angus, who was chancellor of Scotland. His 
takers were the Lord Carlisle and Johnston of Johnston, to 
whom the King gave in recompence the forty pound land in 
Pittinane upon Clyde, to each of them a twenty pound land 
thereof. The third brother, John Lord of Balveny, escaped 
in a wood, and the Earl himself, by flight got to Dunstaffage, 
where rinding Donald Earl of Ross, and Lord of the Isles, he 
incited him to make war against the King in his favours, and 
after he had engaged him therein, he withdrew himself again 
into England. This is noted to have been in the year J i55 % 
after which there was a parliament called about the 5th of 
June or August, as the Acts bear, wherein he, and his brother 


John, and his wife Beatrix were again forfeited, and their 
lands of Galloway annexed to the crown. This Beatrix, 
who had been his brother's wife, and whom he had used and 
kept for his own wife for certain years, came to the King, and 
excused herself, as being a woman, and compelled to do what 
she had done. The King received her into favour, and mar- 
ried her to John Stewart his half brother, by the mother, 
and gave her the lands of Balveny. This John was afterward 
made Earl of Athol in King James Illd's time: he had by Be- 
atrix two daughters only, the eldest of which was married to 
the Earl of Errol. This is cast in by some in the next year 

The Earl Douglas, abandoned on all hands, travelled with 
Donald of the Isles, Earl of Ross, conform to their old band 
made with Earl William to assist him, and renew his claim 
to the Isles. Hereupon Donald wasted Argyle, Arran, Loch- 
aber and Murray, took the castle of Inverness, burnt the town, 
and proclaimed himself King of the Isles, but his wife who 
was daughter to James Livingston, and had been given to him 
in marriage at the King's desire of purpose to retain him the 
better in duty, when she saw she could neither prevail with 
him in that point, and that besides she was but contemned 
by him, and the barbarous people that were with him, she 
left him, and came to the King, who received her very glad- 
ly. About this same time Patrick Thornton, a secret favour- 
er of the Earl Douglas's faction, though he had followed the 
court a long time; slew John Sandilands of Cakler the King's 
cousin, and Allan Stewart also at Dumbarton. These two 
were of the King's side, wherefore the said Thornton was 
taken by the King's officers and executed. These things be- 
ing not yet fully settled, did greatly perplex the King, be- 
twixt domestic and foreign enemies. In the year 1457 the 
Enrl Douglas came in with rienry Piercy Earl of Northum- 
berland to the Merse, which, as they were wasting and pillaging, 
they were encountered by George Earl of Angus, and put 
back to their camp. Being irritated with this indignity, they 
put themselves in order of battle, without staying for their 

House of douglas. 303 

Full companies, many of which were gone abroad into the 
country and villages for spoil and booty, and so entered into 
conflict. When the noise hereof was carried to the ears of 
the foragers, they, for fear of losing what they had got, which 
was a very rich and great prey, past directly into England, 
without regarding what became of the two Earls. Hereby 
the battle was lost by the English, but the loss of men, was al- 
most equal on both sides. This victory did not a little recre- 
ate the King, and so affrighted Donald and his islanders, that 
he sent and submitted himself to the King, and was received 
by him: neither was there any further insurrection within 
the country: neither did the Earl Douglas without the coun- 
try enterprise any thing by the aid of England, they being 
distracted at home by the dissension of Lancaster and York, 
during the days of this King, which were not many: for a- 
bout two or three years after this, the King alone was slain 
by the wedge of a piece of ordnance of his own, and with 
him George Earl of Angus hurt amongst 30,000 of his army, 
of whom none else was either slain nor hurt, at the siege of 
the castle of Roxburgh, in the 29th year of his age, in Sep- 
tember 1460, some eight years after the killing of Earl Wil- 
liam in Stirling-castle, at which time he was about the age of 
twenty-one or twenty-two years. 

Neither hear we any mention of the Earl Douglas's stirring 
in the next King's (James III.) time, either in his minority, 
being but a child of seven or eight years of age at his corona- 
tion, or in his majority, either in the dissensions betwixt 
the Kennedies and the Boyds, or the dissention betwixt the 
King and the nobility. Whether it be the negligence and 
sloth of writers that have not recorded things, or whether he 
did nothing indeed, through want of power, his friends, 
dependers and vassals being left by him, and despairing of 
him, having taken another course, and his lands being dis- 
posed of to others; so it is, that for the space of twenty or 
twenty-three years, until the year 1483, there is nothing but 
deep silence of him in all histories: only we find that he was 
made Knight of the most noble order of the Garter by King 


Edward IV. and is placed first in order of all the Earls, and 
next to him the Earl of Arundale, who is the first Earl of 
England, in the book, entitled Nobilitas Politico.; and the 
English heralds say of him, that he was a very valiant noble 
gentlemen, well beloved of the King and nobility, and very 
steadible to King Edward in all his troubles. These troubles 
perhaps have been the cause that they could enterprize no- 
thing in Scotland, until the foresaid year 1483. However it 
be, he hath the honour to be the first of his nation admitted 
into that order. 

At last then, in the year 1483, Alexander Duke of Albany, 
and brother to King James III. who was also banished to Eng- 
land, arid the Earl Douglas, desirous to know what was the 
affection of their countrymen towards them, vowed that they 
would offer their offering on the high altar of Lochmaben up- 
on the Magdalene-day; and to that effect got together some 
500 horse, what Scottish, what English, and a certain num- 
ber of English footmen that remained with Musgrave at 
Burnswarkhill, to assist them in case they needed. So they 
rode toward Lochmaben, and at their coming the fray was 
raised through Nithsdale, Annandale and Galloway, who as- 
sembling to the laird of MoushitI, then Warden, encountered 
them with great courage. The English who were on the hill 
Burnswark, fled at the first sight of the enemy, so that the 
rest behoved either to do or die; and therefore they fought it 
out manfully, from noon till twilight, with skirmishes, after 
the border fashion, sometimes the one, sometimes the other, 
having the advantage. At last the victory fell to the Scots, 
though it cost them much blood. The Duke of Albany es- 
caped by flight; but the Earl of Douglas, bting now an aged 
man, was striken from his horse, and taken prisoner, with 
his own consent, by a brother of the laird of Closeburn'.,, in 
this manner: the King (James III.) had made a proclamation, 
That whosoever should take the Earl Douglas should have a 
hundred pound land; the Earl being then thus on foot in the 
field, wearied of so long exile, and thinking that ne might 
perhaps be known by some other, seeing in the field Alexan- 



der Kilpatrick, a son of Closeburn's, and one that had been 
his own servant before, he calls on him by his name, and 
when he came to him he said, ♦ I have foughten long enough 
1 against my fortune, and since I must die, I will rather that 

* ye (who have been my own servant, and whom 1 knew to 

* be faithful to me as long as I did any thing that was likely 
' for myself) have the benefit thereby than any other. 
' Wherefore take me and deliver me to the King, according 
' to his proclamation; but see thou beest sure he keep his 
' word before thou deliver me.' The young man, who loved 
the Earl entirely in his heart, wept (as is reported) for sorrow 
to see him thus aged and altered in disguised apparel, and of- 
fered to go with him into England: but he would not, being 
wearied of such endless troubles; only he desired the younc 
man to get his life safe, if he could obtain so much at the 
King's hands; if not, to be sure of his own reward at least. 
Hereupon Kilpatrick, conveyed him secretly out of the field, 
and kept him in a poor cottage some few days, until he had 
spoken with the King, who granted him the Earl's life; and 
gave unto himself the fifty pound land of Kirmichael, which 
is possest by his heirs unto this day. Some give the honour 
of this victory to Cockpool and Johnston, and make the num- 
ber of those that came with Douglas and Albany greater; and 
say, that King Richard of England blamed the Duke of Al- 
bany for the loss thereof, and that he, discontented, and tak- 
ing it ill to be so blamed, withdrew himself secretly into 

The Earl Douglas being brought to the King, he ordained 
him to be puc into the Abbacy of Lindores: which sentence 
when he heard, he said no more but this, He that may no bet- 
ter be, must be a monk; which is past in a proverb to this day. 
He remained there till the day of his death, which was after 
the death of King James III. which fell out 1488, he being of 
a good age, and having been a man in action from the begin- 
ing of his brother William, now four and forty years. 

Some write, that while he was in Lindores, the faction of 
the nobility that had put Cochran to death, and punished 


some others of the courtiers supported by the King's favour, 
especially Archibald Earl of Angus, (called Bell-the-cat) de- 
sired him to come out of his cloister, and be head of their 
faction; promising he should be restored to all his lands: which 
seemeth not very probable. But that which others write hath 
more appearance, that the King desired him to be his lieu- 
tenant against the rebels; but he laden with years and old age, 
and weary of troubles, refused, saying, * Sir, you have kept 
« me, and your black coffer in Stirling, too long; neither of 
' us can do you any good: I, because my friends have forsaken 
1 me, and my followers and dependers are fallen from me, be- 
• taking themselves to other masters, and your black trunk is 
« too far from you, and your enemies are between you and it.' 
Or, as others say. because there was in it a sort of black coin 
that the King had caused to be coined, by the advice of his 
courtiers: which monies, saith he, « Sir, if you had put out at 
« the first, the people would have taken it; and if you had em- 
« ployed me in due time, I might have done you service: but 
« now there is none that will take notice of me, nor meddle 
« with your money.' So he remained still in the Abbacy 
of Lindores, where he died, Anno 1488, and was buried 

Thus began and grew, thus stood and flourished, thus de- 
cayed and ended, the noble house of Douglas, whose love 
to their country, fidelity to their King, and disdain of English 
slavery, was so natural, and of such force and vigour, that it 
had power to propagate itself from age to age, and from branch 
to branch, being not only in the stock, but in the collateral, 
and by branches also, so many as have been spoken of here. 
They have continually retained that natural sap and juice, 
which was first in Sholto, then in William the Hardie, who 
died in Berwick, (who was in a manner a second founder) in 
such a measure, that amongst them all it is uncertain which 
of them have been most that way affected. This virtue join- 
ed with valour, which was no less natural and hereditary from 
man to man, caused their increase and greatness: their Princes 
favouring them for these virtues, and they by these serving 


their Princes ia defence of their country, their affection press- 
ing them thereto, their worth and valour enabling them, the 
hearts of the people affecting and following them: their ene- 
mies regarding and respecting them; all men admiring them: 
so that in effect the weight of warlike affairs was wholly laid 
on them. The King's needed only to give themselves to ad- 
minister justice, consult and direct, living at peace and ease, 
and in great quietness to use their honest recreations, from 
the latter days of King Robert Bruce, wherein there was a 
pleasant harmony and happy concurrence: the Kings, as the 
great wheel and first mover, carrying the first place in hon- 
our and motion, and commanding; &nd they in the next room, 
serving and obeying, and executing their commandments, as 
under-wheels turned about by them, courageously, honoura- 
bly, faithfully and happily, to the great honour and good of 
their Prince and country. 

This behoved to be accompanied with greatness; for nei- 
ther could service to any purpose be done without respected 
greatness, neither had greatness been worthily placed without 
service. Their power is said by some to have been such, 
that, if they had not divided among themselves, no subject in 
this island could have compared with them in puissance. But 
that which diminished their power, and ruined the Earl Dou- 
ghs, was the falling of the Houses of Angus and Morton from 
them to the King: for the last battle the Earl Douglas was at, 
the Earl of Angus discomfited him; so that it became a pro- 
verb, The Red Douglosjntt down the Black, those of the house 
of An<;us being of the fairer complexion. They might have 
raised SO or 40,000 men, under their own command, and of 
their own dependers only, and these most valiant; for their 
command was over the most expert and most exercised in 
war, by reason of their vicinity and nearness to England, 
which was their only matter and whetstone of valour. They 
who give them least, give them 15,000 men, who upon all 
occasions were ready with them to have ridden into England 
at their pleasure, aid back them even in their private quar- 
rels, and have staid there twenty days, and wasted all frorr\ 


Durham northward, which no other private subject could 
ever do upon their own strength, without the King's army. 
This power, as hath been said, they used ever well, without 
giving of offence to their Prince in any sort, that we can read 
of, clearly and expressly set down. 

Yet our writers say, it was too great for Scotland. But 
how could it be too great, that was thus for the good of it? 
for the King's service? for their ease? making no rebellion, no 
resistance, no contradiction, which we see they came never to, 
until the killing of the Earl William at Stirling. Truly if we 
shall speak without partiality, their greatness was so useful to 
their King and country, that Hector Boetius sticks not to say, 
the Douglasses were ever the sure buckler and wall of Scot- 
land, and won many lands by their singular manhood and 
valorous deeds*, for they decored this realm with many no- 
ble acts, and by the glory of their martial performances- 
And though their puissance* was suspected to some of their 
Kings, and was now the cause of their declining, yet since 
that house was put down, Scotland hath done but few memo- 
rable deeds of arms, and we cannot say justly, that they gave 
any cause of jealousy. Princes were moved to conceive it, 
without just occasion given by them, unless it were a fault 
to be great. Whether they were jealous of their own na- 
tural inclination, (as jealousy ordinarily attends the high- 
est places) or by the suggestion of others that were mean 
men, and so envious of great men; the one inclining to 
jealousy, the other working on that inclination; however, 
notwithstanding all this, they still behaved themselves to- 
wards their Princes moderatetly obeying them to warding, 
and after relieving to warding again, at their King's plea- 
sure, without any resistance whatsoever, as may be seen in 
the Earl of Wigton; which being well considered, the cause of 
their stirring or commotion against their Prince, which was 
never till this last man, wdl appear not to have proceeded from 
their greatness, enterprizing against their Prince or aspiring 
to his throne, although the mean men and new start-up- 
courtiers persuaded the King so, for their own advantage 


z.nd ends; but the cause was indeed the aspiring and ambition 
of these mean men, who laboured to climb up into their rooms 
by their decay, neither was this their aspiring by virtue; but 
by calumnies and flattering, fostering the foresaid jealousy. 

I know it is a maxim in policy, and that p lusible to many; 
thus princes should not suffer too great subject in their domi 
nions; yet it is certain, that without great subjects there 
can be no great service. Things may be shuffled at home, but 
abroad there can never any thing be done to the purpose, or of 
note. But now the question is, where great nSefl are already, 
whether it be best thus to undo them, and make up new 
men by their ruin, or not; a thing worthy to be considered: 
and also, whether or not there be a possibility to use 
men to good uses; and, if possible, wnether it were not bet- 
ter to do so, than to go about to undo them: whether also 
there be not in undoing of them such great hazard as we 
see, that though it may succeed at last, as it did here, 
yet it is not so good wisdom to adventure upon it with such 
trouble and uncertainty. 

Truly that which made it to succeed, was the very honest 
heart of this last Earl James; who, if either he would have 
turned English, and cast off all respect to his native Prince, 
entered into battle against him at Abercorn, it had proved 
an unwise course to have so affected the advancement of these 
mean men; and not rather to have used them well that were 
become already great: and therefore the writers find no 
other cause of this success on the King's side, but only the 
providence of God, who had not determined to give the crown 
to the Douglas, but to continue it in the right line; which 
though the Douglas did not aim at, yet being driven to this 
necessity, either to lose his own estate, or to take the crown 
in case of victory, he could hardly h,we refused it, if it should 
have come to that, but he chose rather to lose his own; and 
lost it indeed by a rare modesty, which is even disallowed 
by writers, who interpret it to have been fearfulness or lazi- 
ness; so hard is it to know the right, and not to incur some 
censure in our actions: however it be, this appears most 


certain, that their meaning to their Prince and country hath 
ever been good, and that even in this man. Whatsoever 
errors and faults they fell into, they were drawn to them b7 
the malice of their particular enemies, whom the Princes as- 
sisted, fostered and maintained in their ways, thereby to un- 
do that earldom, jealous of their crown, and that they might 
reign perhaps with greater liberty and fuller absoluteness, 
which their courtiers persuaded them they could not no, so 
long as they stood. But it comes not always so to pass; and 
, though it came here so to pass in this King's days, (which 
were not many) yet in his son's days we shall see it fell out 
otherwise; for out of these mean men, (at least in respect of 
the House of Douglas) there arose some who proved as great 
and greater restralners of that liberty than ever the Earls of 
Douglas were. So that if that be the end of cutting off great 
men, to obtain greater liberty, we see it is not always attain- 
ed, and doth not ever follow upon if, yea, we shall see, that 
almost it never, or but for a very short while, produceth that 
effect. It is therefore worthy to be examined, whether it be 
to be sought, or to be bought at so dear a rate, such hazard 
and trouble. But this is the vicissitude of this rolling world} 
let men consider it, and reverence the Ruler. 

Jacobus Comes Lindorensi ccenobio inclusus. 
Quid rides rasumque caput, cellocque recession? 

Quadque cucullatis fratribus annumcror? 
Fortuna volvcnte vices, Jiet modo Princeps, 

Plebeitts: Monachus scepe Monarcha Juit. 

Why do you laugh to see my shaven crown? 

My cell, my cloister, and my hooded gown? 

This is the power of that sovereign queen, 

By whom monks, monarchsj monarchs monks have been. 


Both fortunes long I tried, aud found at last 
No state so happy as an humble rest. 


Georgius Angusiae Comes. 
Anvici Gallos obsessos undique let/to, 

Scotorum eripuit, te ditce, parva manus : 
Te duce Duglasius, victus quoque Percius heros t 

Militice statuunt clarea trophea tuce: 
Sed consanguineiy sed quid meruere propinqui? 

O Juror, O rabies, perdere velle suosl 
Matrem ingrata necat crudeli, vipera, morsu: 

Stirpem, qua genita est, noxia vermis edit. 
His non absimilisjueras : perdtomus ilia 

Eversa est, ortum ducis et unde genus. 
Non me, ventoca ambitio, non dira cupido 

Egit opum: me non impulit invidia. 
Fere par em pater am, poieram veljerre priorum s 

Contentusque mea sorte beatus eram : 
Ast Regi parere, etjuss'a factsstmsjixum; 

Fas quoque temper erat,Jas mihi semper erit. 

George Earl of Angus. 

Thou ledst a handful, who from death did free, 
The French beseig'd at Alnwick: Victory, 
Though bloody, from the noble Percy gain'd, 
Increas'd thy honour. But against thy friend 
And kinsman, what strange fury turn'd thy force ? 
"What madness to destroy thy own ? 'Twas worse 
Than viper's curelty, compell'd to eat 
Their way, or die : thine was a needless hate. 
No vain ambition oversway'd my heart, 
No love of wealth, no envy had a part 
In what I did, I could an equal bear : 
Nay, did not grudge though Douglas greater were. 
Content with what I had, I happy liv'd ; 
But 'twas my Prince's will ; and 'tis believ'd 
Lawful. And Justice hath pronounc'd it good 
To serve our King without respect of blood- 

Another on the same. 

Pompey by Caesar only was o'ercome, 
None but a Roman soldier conquer'd Rome. 
A Douglas could not have been brought so low 
Had not a Douglas wrought his overthrow.